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:
3,123
Reviews:
436
Avg:
4.48
pDev:
7.59%
 
 
Wants:
2,146
Gots:
863
For Trade:
113
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,123 |  Reviews: 436
Photo of egrace84
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Gotti311
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of maximum12
4.23/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great thanks to dlello2 for this bottle, now drained into two small taster cups. Consumed as part of a Friday night lineup that included the '10, '11, & '12 vintages. One of my favorite regularly available stouts, so I've been looking forward to this vertical. 12 oz. wax-capped bottle.

Pour is black & close to flat, but it makes up for it in the smell. Lush bourbon loveliness pours out after the wax is busted, but fades quickly. By the time it warms there's nothing but a hint of malt & figment of bourbon left. Huh.

Bourbon Barrel Plead the Fifth is a shot of Maker's Mark to the gut; I wouldn't be surprised if this was 25% bourbon. Bourbon suffuses the base beer & overwhelms it with goodness (except I love the base beer). Roast manages to thrash its way out of the bourbon, & it retreats as it warms. Chocolate emerges rapidly; rich. Gorgeous. Deep wood that really adds some depth. Wasn't really digging this initially, but after some time, it grew on my rapidly. Up, up, & away. Heavy. Luscious.

Wow. This one didn't impress me out of the gate, but as it warmed - really warmed, after about 25-30 minutes - it became amazing. This is an excellent beer that really complements the excellent base beer. Worthy. Glad I have one more.

 1,247 characters

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

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.65/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to alampear for sending me a 2011 bottle.

A - Pours a motor oil black with a dark tan head that quickly fades to the edges.

S - Mostly bourbon and some dark fruit.

T - Lovely chocolate, toffee, and bourbon.

D - Mild carbonation with a heavier body.

O - Complex, layered, and pleasant. Boozy, but very, very nice. I really enjoyed this one.

 357 characters

Photo of drummermattie02
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.19/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep black with almost nothing as a head, kind dark cherry cola looking wisp to it. Aroma, vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, all almost equally present, not domineering, nice.

Taste, wow, really smooth, more of the same elements from the nose keep their equitable place on the palate. Overall sweetness is up there, but never diabetes inducing stuff, really, this is a well balanced flavor profile for a huge beer, that doesn't knock you over the head with the alcohol.

This is one of those special beers. Plead the 5th is an already great base beer. Sometimes (Rasputin) you can throw a great base beer into a bourbon barrel, and it becomes less great. Not the case here. It isn't a pretty beer, and the first look and smell won't tip you off to how good this is, but drink it, you'll like it.

Thanks to largadeer for breaking this, and many other gems out at the Solar Eclipse party.

 884 characters

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

Photo of Bung
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of champ103
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of jrallen34
4.29/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Eric who brought this to our tasting, poured into my Narke glass. Normally, I don't review a beer twice, but the difference of on tap vs bottle justifies it as if its an almost entirely different beer...Black pour with a light tan head, not there for long, ok lacing, but low on carbonation overall...The aroma is totally different, slightly weird. Its all creamy peanut butter with chocolate, actually its really awesome, but has me perplexed as on tap it was tons of vanilla and bourbon. A tad too rich for me, but its good...The taste gets us back on track, more oak, chocolate and bourbon come through, still missing the vanilla though. Finish is bitter, adds to keep the experience interesting. The alcohol is hidden well, creamy from start to finish.

This was good, but not as good as tap where I was blown away. Worth trying for sure, but get it on tap.

 875 characters

Photo of n2185
3.82/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours black with a finger of brown head that fades into a hin ring with no lacing.

S: lots of creamy cocoa and chocolate notes up front followed by woody oak aromas. Slight caramel notes follow with stronger notes of bourbon.

T: roasted malts up front followed by semi-sweet chocolate flavors. Lots of oak notes follow with some caramel and bourbon flavors. The finish is lightly roasted and smokey with a light alcohol burn.

M: thick body with low carbonation, this beer is smooth and creamy.

O: a good bbal stout, overall. I'd like some more bourbon presence and more depth of aroma, but it hides the alcohol very well.

 628 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
4.37/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

big thanks to bierenutz for hooking this one up.

a - pried open the wax and opened the bottle filling my oversized southampton ris snifter. poured a deep ominous sludgy black with a thin creamy tan head that was gone quick leaving hardly a trace that it was ever there aside from some bubbles. swirling the glass brings things back to life, but again, gone quick. lacing is spotty and slippery, but swirls of the glass definitely leaves traces.

s - as soon as i opened this, i smelled the wonderfulness. deep whaf of the glass is HUGE booziness. dark chocolate and fruits from the original are there...but the sweetness of the boozy wood enhances this one quite a bit. REALLY really nice...exactly what i look for in a bourbon barrel aged RIS...boozy magic!

t - yowza, that's a big beer. really roasty. big malt bill with lots of chocolate and even hints of fresh french roast coffee. the bourbon is there as well but much more integrated in the flavor than the smell. after the initial shock of the fullness of the beer, the flavors settle in and the barrel adds a really nice touch. as it warmed it did become a bit of a chore to drink (which is usually the opposite of these kinds of beers for me). perhaps it was the bourbon element coming out more, but i found that it was a sipper and taking my time with it helped at first and then there was a sweet spot that once passed, it was more meh than great.

m - dangerously easy drinker for such a big beer. silky and rich. coats my mouth and leaves a subtle tingle. finishes a tad bitter.

o - overall i wish i had a regular plead to do the side-by-side as i remembered loving it and remember the flavors rich and bold much like this. i'm a big fan of this and glad i have a few more of these and really glad i got to try it and that dark horse made enough to go around this time. enjoyable beer for sure, but not as earth shattering as i had hoped...i actually prefer the 2011 fresh BCBS that i swapped for this, but again, glad to have a few of these to taste over time.

 2,027 characters

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

Huge thank you to yeahnatenelson! 2011, silver wax.

Appearance. Poursalmost thick and black with almost no head, just a fine skim of dark brown bubbles on the surface.

Smell. Bourbon for sure, not very boozy though. Wood and Vanilla are there too, some roasty dark malts and a little caramel and coffee.

Taste. Bourbon, sweet vanilla, sweet caramel and coffee, some booze and a little burnt sugar (more burnt than caramel, anyways), just a little dark roasted malts.

Mouthfeel. Full body, low carbonation. A little warm.

Overall. A nice bba stout, no question. Seemed a little boozy and could probably use another year or two, but really not that bad for a 14% beer. Would love to try it again nicely aged.

 714 characters

Photo of MSandahl23
4.75/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Resuin
4.61/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.54/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the Dark Horse 4elf party. Glad it was on tap as there were very few (VERY few) bottles for sale.

It was served in a plastic cup (boo...), a 10oz pour (sort of boo...), but was delicious (hooray). This was dark, black dark, very opaque with a thin but still existent ring of foam.

It smells like a big beer, which of course it is, without smelling like alcohol. Strong malty aromas, sweet and roasty, with some dark fruits and a well integrated bourbon. Since having this glass I've had many bourbon aged stouts over the holidays, and I can say that the nose on this one is right up there.

Very very tasty, the bourbon is not overbearing, it really complements instead of contrasting the roasty stout base. Cocoa, raisins, vanilla, bourbon, this is just excellent. No burn in the aftertaste, just lingering sweet bourbon flavors. It feels big and heavy, everything about it says this is a major beer, and you have to be careful or you're gonna get buzzed.

This is especially good considering that you can't taste the alcohol in such a strong beer, and I can't recommend it highly enough.

 1,113 characters

Photo of rlee1390
4.41/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A-Black in the glass, one finger brown head.

S-Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate coffee and roasted malt.

T-Bourbon, chocolate, roasted malt, molasses.

M-Medium bodied, not much carbonation though.

O-Really improves as it warms, was expecting a little more but still a wonderful beer.

 283 characters

Photo of threedaggers
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of zekeman17
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of GraduatedCashew
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of akang
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Dactrius
4/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Patchmaster for trading me this bottle.

Vintage 2011, poured into my Bruery snifter.

A: Pours a used motor oil looking, completely opaque, pitch black. The only head on this beer is the tiniest ring of a thin mocha coloring along the top of the beer that clings to the glass for dear life.

S: Bourbon, wood, toast, raisin, dark and milk chocolate, vanilla, and just the slightest hint of cherry. Damn, this is exactly how I imagined this beer to smell. It's incredible.

T: Starts off with a nice boozy kick in the face, but all of the flavors of this beer shine through as that first hit begins to mellow. I'm getting dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and wood. The raisin and cherry don't come through in the taste, and I'm fine with that. The finish is milk chocolate, some lingering booze, and a bit of burnt toast. Fantastic.

M: Full bodied beer. It's not over or under carbonated. The flavors are a bit sticky, but nothing overwhelming. It's boozy, but ohh so creamy.

O: This beer is phenomenal. The hype is totally justified. I can't wait to see how this beer ages!

 1,092 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
3.98/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Another from my trade with deyholla. Pours viscous black with one finger brown mocha head. Aroma of chocolate, sweet molasses, dark fruits, roast, and something off that I am not a fan of (similar characteristics to Tres). Thick viscous mouthfeel with medium low carbonation. Heavy dark fruit up front followed by lots of dark bittersweet chocolate. Slight booze, but don't get much of the bourbon barrel in this. Was expecting a bit more vanilla oak, though my palate might be tainted from the Kuhnhenn BA 4D I had right before this. I tend to prefer non-fruity stouts, but this is generally well done. Relaxing sipper. I find it strange that the regular version was so full of roast and chocolate and this one went more fruity despite the barrel. Oh well, good beer just not as great as I had hoped.

 801 characters

Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
4.48 out of 5 based on 3,123 ratings.
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