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
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:
420
Ratings:
3,006
Avg:
4.48
pDev:
7.81%
 
 
Wants:
2,167
Gots:
852
For Trade:
115
User Reviews
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Reviews: 420 | Ratings: 3,006
Photo of JohnG190
4.91/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks MichiganderHB! 2013 vintage. Pours jet black with a super thin, mocha head that quickly fades to a thin ring around the glass. Good lacing. Complex aromas of vanilla, raisin, bourbon, molasses, and dark chocolate. This is one of the best BA stouts I've ever smelled! Smooth dark chocolate hits the front of the palate followed by caramel,vanilla, and dark fruits. The bourbon isn't as pronounced as in other BA stouts and it's extremely smooth and mellow. As it warms the chocolate really comes out with hints of toffee and molasses. Finish is chocolate with a hint of bourbon heat. Full bodied and incredibly smooth. Not much carbonation to speak of. Sweet finish. Overall, this is the best example of a bourbon barrel stout I've yet had. Simply outstanding!

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Photo of Alpar
4.9/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Sugar Maple, what a fantastic surprise :)

A: Dark with a perfect level of carbonation that sticks around for a while.

S: Bourbon, malt, bread, vanilla, charred oak and a minute amount of anise.

T: Vanilla bourbon BOMB, awesome! Very smooth bourbon flavor. It tastes like marshmallows :) Reminds me of Vanilla Bean Dark Lord! I gwt some of the oak, malt and bread on the aftertaste, this is beautiful.

M: Surprisingly thin, but works to the beers advantage. I think it is perfect.

O: This is stellar. I hope I can get to the release of this beer if there is one in the future. Simply outstanding!

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Photo of MattyG85
4.89/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2011 Vintage on tap at The Happy Gnome in St. Paul, Minnesota. 10 oz. pour served in a New Belgium Globe glass.

Appearance: Color is an oily pitch black with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of deep tan head which fades into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a good amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Smells very big, rich, and fairly sweet. Nice scent of bourbon with good hints of vanilla, wood, and oak chips. Big dark malts with big hints of chocolate, coffee, molasses, maple syrup, burnt caramel, toffee, and dark bread. A little bit of smokey roast. A scent of alcohol is present but it blends in well with the dark sweetness. The vanilla and chocolate really stands out. Very rich and good aroma.

Taste: As good as the aroma leads, Big taste of bourbon upfront with some good notes of vanilla, oak, and wood cask. Rich and sweet dark roasted malts with big notes of dark chocolate, bitter coffee, maple syrup, molasses, burnt toast, caramel, toffee, butterscotch, and a little bit of smoke. Some alcohol heat is tasted but not as overwhelming as one might expect. Good balance of sweetness from the vanilla and chocolate, with the bitter roast. Really great taste here.

Mouthfeel: A rich and heavy body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy and fairly syrupy and creamy. Sweet but far from cloying. Smoother than expected at 14%.

Overall: A really great Barrel Aged Imperial Stout. Big, rich, and dark while keeping the sweetness and booze taste under control.

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Photo of MBrausen
4.88/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Dougofthefuture for holding this great tasting!

Poured from a bomber into a snifter

A. Pours a dark charcoal color with a caramel head about 1mm thick. Settles as a nice foamy ring around the glass

S. Sweet chocolate dominating the smell, noticeable bourbon, caramel and light fruit

T. Sweet and sugary, but not overbearing at all. Very very malty, with dark chocolate and a slight toffee finish.

M. Medium body, coarse and dry finish

O. This is true a top shelf beer. It's sweet but not over done, very malty but not dominating the whole beer, the chocolate is at a good level, and a nice light coffee finish. This is a beer I will be looking to get more and more of. I suggest everyone try this!

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Photo of cnbrown313
4.88/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been looking for this beer for the last couple years now and BA mia4ipa was kind enough to share one with me. Poured from a 12oz wax sealed bottle into mini pint glasses. Served at just below room temperature.

A - Pours out like thick, black motor oil with little to no head. Super-viscous. This has the classic look for a big, barrel aged imperial stout. Looking good...

S - I was expecting a huge bourbon smell, but it's not over powering. Hints of bourbon, oak, dark chocolate and fudge.

T - Upon taking a sip, the initial notes are chocolate, toffee, and bourbon. There's just the right level of sweetness without being cloying, which is balanced by that nice bourbon barrel flavor, and a little bitterness at the end. This is one of the tastiest stouts I've ever had. It was surprisingly drinkable at 14% ABV too.

M - The mouthfeel was perfect for the style. It was slightly thick and chewy, but really enjoyable to sip on.

O - Probably one of my favorite barrel aged stouts. The bourbon wasn't as pronounced as it is in something like BCS, but this seemed much more balanced and enjoyable to drink. I wish I had more...

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.88/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On Tap at Hulmeville Inn in a fricken pint glass, are you guys trying to kill me!?!???!?

A- Bourbon 5th is a big ol black stout, it looks dark as night. Really thick looking to, not on the thin side at all. The liquid kinda coats the glass. A very minimal dark brown cap on top not leaving any traces on the glass.

S- While not the most explosive nose on this, 5th remains a big ol roasted malt masterpiece with malts(duh), getting a nice chocolate base with cocco and some underlining vanilla. Dark fruits play a big part in this and bourbon is there but muted. Smells delicious:)

T- Regular 5th is smooth as silk and this bourbon aged one is just as smoooth, if not smoother. The bourbon does not overpower and sort of takes a backseat to the base beer. Chocolate, deep roasted malts, dark fruits, vanilla and some bourbon. This is not hot at all.

M- For the supposed 14% this is not hot at all, no heat whatsoever. Creamy, thick, coating, inviting. Thick bodied, almost barely carbed up. This just glides down. An excellent feel on this bad boy.

D- Ok, 14% is very high and all, nowhere near a session beer. I drank my pint with ease. I would drink more but I have to stay alive, if I was at home drinking this, bourbon 5th would be a all dayer. Im not a big stout guy lately but this one is worth the damage that the alcohol will do over time. This one is a winner and possibly the best bourbon aged stout that I ever had. I drank this along with older vis and bourbon black and this one took the cake.

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Photo of doughanson78
4.88/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Huge thanks to rfraga77 for this want. 400th BA review.

A: Super black. One of the blackest I've seen. Half finger super dark mocha head that actually had decent retention and lacing for an ABV this high. Awesome looking RIS.

S: Big bourbon, but not boozy at all. Very nice oak notes. Lots of vanilla and butterscotch. Dark chocolate, a touch of dark cherries.

T: Wow. Bourbon is amazing. Vanilla and butterscotch is awesome mixed with dark chocolate, oak, and a hint of cherries. Alcohol is nowhere to be found. One of the smoothest RIS's I've had.

M: Super thick. Chewy to the fullest. Medium low carbonation. Creamy and smooth.

O: One of the, if not the best beer I've had. How is no alcohol detected in a 14% beer?

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Photo of JDizzle
4.87/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a goblet at the brewery.

I feel lucky to have come across this!!!

It's black as night with a thin cocoa brown head.

Smells like a huge RIS with a nice bourbon scent. It's actually pretty strong- more comes out as it warms. You can smell that it has the potential to be HOT.

Pure bliss!! Great bourbon flavor hits you right away. Really outstanding compared to Plead the 5th. Really oaky, roasted malt, fairly hot-as expected for a 14% beer. There is a good amount of coffee on the finish as well.

Mouthfeel is dry, slick, with low carbonation.

This is a beer I will try and seek out anywhere on tap again. IMO, it's much better than Bells Black Note and KBS, and that is saying a lot!!

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Photo of dar482
4.87/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a pitch black color with a brown head.

The aroma offers thick dark chocolate and almost brownie. Bourbon sweetness, a touch of coconut and almond.

The beer offers a medium plus mouthfeel, smooth and chewy, and really good for the ABV. Up front is bourbon, dark fruit, rich chocolate. Lingering bourbon on the back with some oak drying, along with a coconut aftertaste.

It reminds me of ’14 BCBS.

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Photo of EveningCordial
4.87/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from bottle into snifter.

A- Pitch black, not much of a head but some small brown carbonation and lacing. Looks thick.

S- Wonderful aromas of bourbon, cask, vanilla, coffee, and dark tannins. Some maple syrup sweetness going on as well. Charred malts and barley present too. A bit of alcohol present on the nose.

T- Great balance between the bourbon and beer itself. Not too much heat on this one and as the nose predicted, lots of dark grains, chocolate, syrup, vanilla and some dry oak. The flavors blend quite well and make this a smooth drinker.

M- Full bodied. A little sticky in a good way. Rolls off the tongue pretty silky. Not much carbonation present.

O- Dam fine BA stout. Not much room for improvement here. Could maybe use a hint more bourbon if anything, but this is for sure a top BA stout. Look forward to each year's batch.

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Photo of GregSVT
4.87/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz waxed bottle into a snifter - 2011 Vintage

A: Pours black as night with a decent dark brown head that quickly fades to a ring and leaves the tiniest lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is really amazing. Big aromas of whiskey, chocolate, vanilla, and a slight licorice smell. The whiskey is really apparent and I like it.

T: The taste is wonderful as well. Huge flavors of dark chocolate, vanilla, whiskey, roasted malt, and licorice all assault the tounge with each sip.

M: The feel is damn thick and creamy...about as good as you can get. Alcohol is nowhere to be seen which is incredible for a 14% beer!

O: This is one of the best barrel aged stouts I've had so far. It's huge in all areas. The taste is just a tad bit weak on the barrel notes or else this would be close to perfect. I will say as it warms it vastly improves the taste. Highly recommended!

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.86/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, shared by stillmatic2232. Thanks a lot, man!

Pours a beautiful velvety black into matching snifters. Nice mocha-colored head lasts for about 15 minutes.

Smells great- dark malt, cocoa, oak, and well-integrated bourbon.

Tastes even better. All of the above smells are amplified. This is one of the best barrel-aged stouts I've ever had. Dark Horse really knew what they were doing here. The roasty bitterness of the dark malt intermingles so well with the sweet, leathery, oaky bourbon flavors. Awesome!

Pretty sticky and viscous mouthfeel. Goes down so easy. Well carbonated.

Awesome BA stout. Don't let the slightly amateur label job fool you- this stout is great. More and more people know about this winner of a beer- so it's no longer a "dark horse."

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Photo of WesM63
4.86/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Vintage 2013. Poured into a over-sized snifter.

A: Pours a deep dark brown, nearly black with a 1 finger mocha head.

S: Smells of heaven. Anise, Black Licorice, Chocolate, Coffee, fudge, roast and a solid amount of bourbon.

T: Tastes like heaven. Nearly spot on the nose. Huge amounts of coffee, chocolate and a perfectly balanced amount of bourbon.

M: Medium to full body. Medium carbonation. The beer comes off thick yet slick and creamy on your tongue. This beer is ridiculously drinkable. Moderate amounts of bourbon reminds you, you are drinking an BBA Imperial stout.

O: This is the pinnacle of BBA Imperial Stouts. Everyone does them differently and they all taste a tad bit different, but this one, this one is perfectly balanced. Just the right amount of fudgey goodness paired with just right amount of barrel from the bourbon makes this beer ridiculously easy to drink . If you can't make it to 4elf, i'll let you in on a secret. Hit the brewery any time of the year and pay the money for the tour, you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of jegross2
4.85/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewing the Bourbon Barrel-Aged Plead The Fifth (2012) from Dark Horse Brewing Company out of Michigan.
Score: 98

2012 vintage bottle served in a snifter glass and enjoyed on 03/13/12. A big thank you to Nick for sharing this bottle with me; I had been wanting to try it forever.

Appearance: Pours a jet black color with a super thin, creamy layer of mocha head that settles to a pencil thin ring around the glass. Good lacing too. 4.5/5

Smell: Lots of vanilla and raisin. Smooth bourbon, vanilla cupcakes, molasses, rich chocolate, fudge, tobacco and a hint of cherry. 4.5/5

Taste: Luscious dark chocolate and a little caramel flavor. Incredibly creamy and absolutely no alcohol presence whatsoever. Mellow vanilla too. Fig and prunes. As it layers and warms, molasses and a little bit of toffee and smooth bourbon-without-the-boozy-bite flavor comes out. Fudge, milk chocolate and melted dark chocolate on the midpalate. Super chocolatey backbone here. Finish is cocoa and dark chocolate with a hint of bourbon flavor. 5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied, minimal carbonation. Incredibly creamy mouthfeel. Slightly sweet finish. 5/5

Overall: This is one of the best barrel-aged stouts out there; it is every bit as good as the FiftyFifty Eclipse White Wax (Elijah Craig 18-aged version). The taste is absolutely incredible. I wish I had a bottle of my own! Thanks again for sharing this one with me Nick!

Recommendation: Go get yourself a bottle of this magnificent elixir. Even casual beer drinkers should be able to revel in its chocolatey glory.

Pairings: French vanilla ice cream.

Cost: $8 for a 12 oz bottle.

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Photo of Holmgrown
4.85/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Friend of mine saved a bottle for me. Poured it in a pint glass.

A: dark...almost looks like oil with a perfect amount of carbonation

S: bourbon

T: fantastic. Really enjoyed the strong bourbon flavor.

O: I'm going out on a limb to say this may be the best beers I have ever tasted. Maybe it's because I'm a fan of bourbon.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.85/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge Thanks to Thorpe429 for providing this great beer. He’s quickly become a regular trading partner.

When you pour this beer, you know it’s serious. Looks as thick as Bourbon County Stout. You can see the body even before the head billows up from within. The head builds and is a milk chocolate color while the beer is motor oil, including the shine with about 50,000 miles on it. Head does settle to nothing and a scant amount of lace remains.

Aroma is also fantastic. bourbon, CHECK, vanilla, CHECK, dark chocolate, CHECK, a well rounded sweetness pulling all of these together. Double CHECK. Great.

A mellow chocolate bourbon flavor is immediate and then some vanilla. Chocolate returns and there is a nice balance of ABV and some sweetness. You can tell there is a kicked up ABV, but it’s so rounded and smooth it’s crazy. Is this vintage really 14%? That’s amazing. Dangerous beer.

Just a fantastic beer. Loved it from front to back and was sad when it was gone. Have to score another somehow.

I am a little concerned how much this reminds me of Bourbon County. (One of my favorite all time beers) If I ever get the chance, I’d love to do a side by side comparison.
(EDIT - I promise I never looked... I scored this the exact same score as Bourbon County Stout) Too frigging funny

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Photo of oglmcdgl
4.85/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A pint on tap at the hulmeville inn. Oh boy this is going to be a trip.

A- comes to me with a small cap of dark brown head that settles almost instantly leaving just the faintest of rings. Black in color with a small hint of dark brown at the edges.

S- dark chocolate and bourbon vanilla with some smokey wood and char. Lots of brown sugar and molasses. Touches of dark fuits.

T- molten chocolate fudge cake and blackstrap molasses. Bourbon soaked vanilla beans with dark roasted malts. Light stone fruit and coffee hit way in the back.

M- sooo smooth and creamy with a full body and a bit of chew to it. Very lite carb but its perfect for the brew. Just the lightest touch of boozy heat.

D- for a 14 abv pile driver of a brew Im blasting through this pint. This is one amazing brew. Up there with the best barrel aged stouts in the world no doubt.

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Photo of sarro
4.85/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed from tap at Detroit Fall beer fest.

This is the 6th time I've had this beer (4 on tap, two from bottle (and no infections like the mislabeled Aigre bottle review below))

Looks jet black with a dark brown head. Smell's of bourbon, roast, light coffee & malt. Taste is an incredible wave of bourbon soaked dark chocolate rounded out by a thick malty backbone. Not too sweet & finishes dry & a bit boozy (think 2009 BCS). Full mouth feel, perfectly carbonated and not syrupy like most other stouts/beers of this ABV. One of my top 3 favorite stouts.
An incredible bourbon barrel aged stout to say the least.

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Photo of TriGuy20
4.85/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had at Twisted Spoke, Chicago, IL on tap. In tulip glass.

A: Oil black with nice dark tan head.

S: mmmm this smells great! Vanilla/ Dark Chocolate/ Bourbon/ Molasses/ Dark Roasted Coffee

T: The bourbon comes through nicely with the vanilla showing upfront with a nice bitter chocolate finish.

MF: Creamy and rich, this beer coats the palate like velvet. The finish goes on for a while.

D: For 14% abv this beer is amazingly easy to drink. Per this style 8-12 oz is plenty as it is quite rich.

Overall:
This is one of the finest stouts I have ever had. The use of bourbon barrels is done to perfection. Bravo Dark Horse for making such an incredible drinking experience.

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Photo of maxcoinage
4.84/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 Vintage (acquired in a trade with @MichiganderHB) poured into snifter.

look - pitch black with a few cm mocha head that settled down quickly

smell - amazing - slight bourbon, dark fruit, vanilla, oak, dark chocolate

taste - unbelievable! Follows the aroma. dark chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, caramel, some booze on the finish

mouthfeel - fairly thick, lower carb, finshes smooth

overall - wow. this is amazing - it's actually more drinkable than BCBS fresh . it'd be such a tough choice if I had to pick between the two. Glad I got a 4 pack!!!

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Photo of NCalement
4.84/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 Vintage served into a Sexual Chocolate TEKU.

A- Pitch black, minimal head, light lacing, looks thick.

S- Could smell the vanilla bourbon as soon as I popped the top. Bourbon, sweet alcohol burn, vanilla, chocolate, roasted malt, slight espresso and toffee.

T- Bourbon, dark roasted malt, vanilla, chocolate finish, and bitter coffee. So good. Like beautiful fudge bourbon.

M- Rich and viscus. Lots of lingering flavors. Kinda hot at first but as it warms its as smooth as chocolate milk. Amazing.

O- One of my favorite BA stouts I've ever had. So rich and smooth, blended perfectly. I want this on my death bed.

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Photo of AdamF625
4.83/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A- thick and black with a thin mocha head. It leaves a nice brown lacing on the glass.
S-bourbon, sweet chocolate, toffee, booze, oak, and spiced rum.
T- bourbon and cocoa forward then some nice roasted, chocolate, and black malts take over. Licorice, vanilla, caramel, and espresso are also lingering. As the beer warms up you get a lot of marshmallow and fudge.
M- thick and oily with low to medium carbonation. It leaves you with coat of sweet fudge and bourbon on your palate.
O- There is a lot going on here and it mends so well. Take your time and really accept all the wonderful nuances this beer has to offer.

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Photo of mfunk9786
4.83/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

WOW. Had on tap at Capone's during PBW. The unexpected star of my day.

This beer is perfectly balanced. Pours extremely dark, smells of vanilla bean, bourbon, and rich dark chocolate with a hint of the usual bitter stout trappings (licorice, anise, etc) which just add depth. The taste is more of the same, with a huge vanilla bean and dark fruit flavor that is nothing short of incredible. This beer is worthy of the hype on this site and I'd love to see it become a standard in bottles.

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Photo of camil1mj
4.82/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Detroit Fall Beer Fest. My wife got a pour so that I could have a full cup.

A: Deep, dark stout with reddish/brown head.

S: Wonderful bourbon tones with chocolate, roastiness taking a backseat.

T: Bourbon forward. Followed up by chocolate, roasted stouts notes. Perfect.

M: creamy. Smooth. Full-bodied. Appropriately carbonated.

O: Best at the beerfest. I understand the hype. Beats out the Blacknote.

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Photo of themind
4.82/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok the aroma is the only thing off for me. This beer when you dissect its flavor profile is very clean, definitive and balanced. The barrel aging flavor is so crisp, its truly an amazing beer. The stout backbone from Plead the Fifth is there, creamy as usual and the added BB just puts this at an elite level. This is a beer to seek out as its incredibly well made and balanced. Just a masterpiece, the only downfall is the aroma is weak which is weird because the taste is pronounced and amazing!

Bottom Line: Legendary brew!

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Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 420 ratings.
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