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
darkhorsebrewery.com

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
Ratings:
3,145
Reviews:
438
Avg:
4.48
pDev:
7.81%
 
 
Wants:
2,139
Gots:
866
For Trade:
118
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,145 |  Reviews: 438
Photo of Sammy
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of acurtis
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of jaydoc
4.07/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.09/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour shared by DarthKostrizer at his place.

2011 vintage.

Pours an opaque black with a khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark malt, cocoa, cinnamon, wood, and bourbon. Taste is pretty much the same with an alcohol kick in the throat with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but it’s a bit hot in my opinion.

 515 characters

Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +11.6%

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

truly delicious, and enormously better than the base beer. this is perhaps the greatest improvement from base beer to barrel aged edition i have ever seen, not that there is anything wrong with the base beer, but that its not so outstanding and one of a kind as this variant. beautiful stuff, high luster dark brown, with a milky thick mocha head. the nose isnt all barrel, but that vanilla sweetness is robust. it pulls the bitter out of the base beer and balances it brilliantly, all united in oak. i get some coconut and some dark chocolate in here in the taste, even some dark fruits, maybe dried cherries for a minute, before the bourbon slowly starts to take over the palate. amazing how mellow the alcohol is on this, especially considering its not all that viscous compared to others in the same style. the finish is long but only a little sweet, i could have another glass no problem. toffee and espresso to finish with the bourbon, its like dessert and an after dinner drink in one package. the best ive had from dark horse, one of the best bourbon barrel beers period. wow.

 1,084 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of djrn2
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Knapp85
4.41/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2011: The grand finale to the night spent with jzeilinger. Poured this between the two of us. This beer was black it had a brown head that was faded quickly but left a ring around the edge of the glass. The look of the beer is pretty typical for the style. The smell of the beer is surprising to me, I expected the barrel aging to stand out a lot more on this. There is some vanilla on the nose along with some other sweet aromas. The taste of the beer is also really subtle. I was surprised by this, Really thought you'd be able to get much more intense flavors of the barrel and the bourbon. It's a great tasting beer regardless. The mouthfeel is thick and gently carbonated, it's a very smooth beer. Overall it's much more balanced than I expected, it's a solid beer from start to finish. I would have enjoyed a little more bourbon on it though. It's good but I don't feel it's worth the 100% rating on here.

 919 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of nmann08
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

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

Amazing what a barrel can do, Dark Horse's Plead the 5th goes into the barrel as an slightly unrefined catterpiller but emerges from its oaken cocoon as ominous and succulent butterfly. Upon its revival, utter decadence is realized!

You don't so much as pour the beer, rather you pop the cap and let it crawl out on its own. As it settles in the snifter, its lavish pitch-black body creeps to the bottom while a mocha-laden lather billows above. Its fledgling head character eventually succumbs to the beer's weight and renders it lacing as unimportant. What transpires instead in a shaddowy port or brandy appearance.

Its decadent dessert-like and boozy sweetness soothes the soul with a mere sip. Dark chocolate, espresso, creamy toffee-wrapped malt, walnut brownies and molasses round out the stouts surly scent. But a rise of bourbon happens as the beer warms, unlocking its sweet booziness with a soft pillow of caramel, vanilla, coconut and vinous cherry aroma.

Sipping as a cordial, the most subtle draw seeps into taste buds with sheer dominant roasty-sweet flavor. Coffeehouse espresso is softened with bittersweet chocolate, black-strap molasses and a creamy fudge flavor. As the stout slowly treks over the middle, its hearty sweetness slowly fades into a bitter coffee trail that's once again greeted with drunken oak. Its boozy char brings about a host of elegant power- its thin caramel is slightly of honey as the unmistakable coconut and vanilla offer the whimsy that only fine bourbon can. Even a savory vinous tone offers up sherry, port, merlot and even soy sauce.

Its full body simply laughs at any attempt for drinkability- this is a sipper as its enormous viscosity coats the mouth its oily chewiness. As its warm and toasted finish transpires, the stout retains much of its body, refusing to be dissected by its strong alcohols or its vinous tannin spiciness.

This special Plead the 5th doesn't pair with any after dinner dessert or snack. It is the after dinner dessert. Just sit back, relax and let this decadent ale steal your soul!

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Photo of kojevergas
3.75/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with silver wax-ed over branded pry-off pressure cap acquired as part of a trade (I forget who with; sorry!) and served into an Odell stem-tulip in me friend's gaff in high altitude Fort Collins, Colorado. Reviewed live. 2011 vintage. Reviewed as an imperial stout because the label identifies it as such. Expectations are sky-high; I loved the regular Plead the 5th.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a half finger wide head of great khaki colour. Fantastic mocha-like creaminess. Great thickness. Sadly, the head retention is quite poor - maybe 25 seconds at best. Uneven spotty lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a solid opaque dark black. No yeast particles/sediment is visible.

Overall, it's looking real good for an imperial stout, but is far from unique or special. I've seen much better in the style, especially inasmuch as the head is concerned.

Sm: Chocolate malts, dark malts, cream, and complementary bourbon notes - some rich vanilla and pleasant guiding oak. It's not as toasty or roasty as would be ideal. The coffee has also faded substantially, but there's some vague cappuccino. Caramel.

It's a pleasant aroma of mild strength. To be honest, I expected more complexity and subtlety from the aroma.

No hop character or yeast character is detectable. It's quite clean.

T: I dig the bourbon; the vanilla and oak are nice, but I do want some toasty character from it. Dark malts and chocolate malts provide the foundation, with some sparse coffee/cappuccino in there too. Cream. Caramel. I'm not finding much (if any) roasted barley. It's a well balanced build, but while cohesive isn't quite gestalt. The barrel notes are well integrated into the base, but it doesn't feel like a perfect marriage. Good complexity and some nice subtlety. Not particularly nuanced or intricate. It's a bit too ashy and burnt on the climax, which is joined unfavorably by an unbecoming coffee-like bitterness.

It's certainly on the sweeter side.

Mf: I love the creaminess. Smooth. Wet. Has an even consistency. Well-carbonated. Good thickness and body. Good presence on the palate.

Not oily, astringent, harsh, gushed, hot, or boozy.

Dr: I'm not sure if age has really helped it, but it's a tasty imperial stout. I'm glad I got to try it, but it's not amongst the best in the style. I'd pick it up if I saw it on the shelf, sure, but I wouldn't go out of my way to seek it out. I'd like to try it fresh. Hides its ABV pretty well. Damn good, but not world class. Quite drinkable, though.

High B

 2,756 characters

Photo of oline73
4.72/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2011 bottle poured into my colossus snifter. I got this in a BIF today and was so excited I decided to open it up.

Appearance: Pours an opaque black with a half finger layer of cocoa colored head. The head fades to a ring around edge of the glass with just a swirl of carbonation in the middle.

Smell: Sweet roasty malt with some dark fruit and smooth alcohol. I'm picking up some caramel and vanilla from the barrels. There is also cocoa and bourbon in the nose. Very nice.

Taste: This is a really smooth BA Imperial Stout. The slightly burnt roasty malt sweetness hits you first, with some dark fruit just behind. The barrel aging was artfully done. The bourbon and caramel from the barrel are very present in the taste, but not hot at all. The finish is warm and full of bourbon and sweet cocoa notes.

Mouthfeel: On the thick side of medium, but thin compared to what I was expecting. Tingly carbonation with a very slick finish. The beer sticks to you mouth long after you swallow.

Overall: Not disappointed at all. This is a fantastic brew and I plan on having more in the future.

 1,090 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.13/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Vintage 2012

Appearance: Pours pitch black, with some brownish highlights on the edge; the head lays a film on top of the liquid and then fades to a ringlet while leaving a nice pattern of lacing around the chalice

Smell: Dark fruit, licorice, dark chocolate, citrus and some oak; not picking up much in the way of Bourbon

Taste: The dark fruit (prune, primarily), licorice and dark chocolate flavors dominate the front end with some citrusy hops appearing, in the middle; the Bourbon appears, after the swallow, adding oak and vanilla; chops more wood into the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with low to moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Overall: For what is currently #19 on the Top 250 list, I was expecting something a bit more than what I got; still, this beer is a solid Bourbon barrel RIS, just not an earth shatterer

Thanks, Tenchi221, for the opportunity

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Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of emerge077
4.52/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Second time trying this, too bad it's served in such a tiny glass. I can only imagine the pure devastation that a growler would bring.

Jet black with a sticky cap of mocha foam. It sticks around for the duration, and adheres to the sides. Did I mention sticky? Doesn't look all that different from Plead the 5th, it seems to have definitely retained carbonation after time in the barrel.

Deep fudgy chocolate and blackened, fried plantains dripping in brown sugar syrup. Not overly sweet, but with a vanilla barrage from the barrel. Dark roast and bittersweet chocolate figure large in the equation. Rich flavor, blackened roasted barley, toasted marshmallow, vanilla and chocolate intermingling, with a light sweetness peeking through in the middle. Even carbonation, and with a bigger swig the alcohol is evident, but creeps by unnoticed when sipped. It has an unwavering intensity that is impressive. A solid A+ RIS from Dark Horse.

 939 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a large dark brown foamy head with good retention and some light lacing. Aroma consists of light dry roasted malt notes with some black chocolate notes with medium bourbon notes with some vanilla undertones. Taste is also dominated by creamy black chocolate notes with some light dry roasted malt. Body is full with creamy texture and good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Not as complex as I was expecting but very well balance overall with chocolate and bourbon creating an efficient mix.

 541 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.39/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage
Poured jet-black, inky into tulip with a one finger tan head. Big bourbon nose with hints of chocolate. Taste follows nose rich, well-balanced bourbony sipper with traces of chocolate and maybe cherries...very smooth. Surprisingly full-bodied for its fluidity. Very enjoyable

 289 characters

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

Growler shared by Adam and Anna. Thanks!

Oily, viscous black with a small dark brown cap.

The aroma is great - rich dark malts backed by strong but well integrated bourbon barrel. Milk chocolate, fudge, caramel, slight mustiness from the barrel and a hint of tar from the dark malt. Some noticeable alcohol, but no harshness.

Flavors of dark chocolate fudge and scorched malt frolic alongside caramel and vanilla. The body is huge and oily with a low level of carbonation. Tarry, burnt malt lends some balance to an otherwise sweet finish. The lingering sweetness reminds me of Jack Daniels. Alcohol is surprisingly reigned-in, I'd never guess this was 14%.

Plead the 5th is already a great beer, and this is even better. Impressive stuff.

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Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
4.48 out of 5 based on 3,145 ratings.
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