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
Reviews:
433
Ratings:
3,088
Avg:
4.48
pDev:
7.59%
 
 
Wants:
2,150
Gots:
859
For Trade:
110
User Reviews
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Reviews: 433 | Ratings: 3,088
Photo of deebo
4.75/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 version on tap at The Happy Gnome

A-Black as night with a skimming of dark tan head which leaves some lacing as you drink.

S-Dominant aromas of bourbon, earthy oak, and heavily toasted malt. Also plenty of whiffs remniscent of sweet aromas vanilla and burnt sugar. The aromas really come out nicely as the beer warms.

T-Similar to the aroma but more layers and really nice complexity. Bourbon upfront, the oak and earthy aromas are quite present and really pleasing. I don't think I've noticed this quality as strong in any other BB RIS. Plenty of sweet, dark malt. Hints of bitterness but really mild for some of the chocolate and coffee like tastes detected. The sweet tastes of burnt sugar and vanilla really balance out the heavy characteristics.

M-The mouthfeel is wonderful. My biggest complaint of most BB RIS is the syrupy, cloying and or alcoholic burn qualities. This one has none of the above and at a reported ABV of 14% it is absolutely world class. I've had 5%+ beers have more alcoholic sting than this baby. Body is heavy yet clean and almost crisp, a bitterness that is there but not at all lingering, this baby is smooth.

O-I was hesitant to get this on a hot day but had not had the pleasure before so had to brave the heat to try this, very glad that I did. This is a winner, now I have another beer that I have to add to the hit list to try to get every year.

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Photo of Treebs
4.44/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz waxed bottle served in a FW tulip. We did a side by side with the base beer.

A: Pours a jet black with a quick dissolving dark mocha head forming on the pour. A very thin ring is left over that leaves no lace, but there are some nice legs.

S: Really smooth and sweet bourbon up front. Chocolate, roasted malts and oak. Dark chocolate and raisins on the finish.

T: Bourbon up front like the nose, but again, it's very smooth and sweet. Just a touch of heat comes from it. Sweet caramel and oak barrel. Coffee like dark chocolate with a little bitterness to it. The finish is toffee and raisin.

M: Thick and heavy bodied. Creamy mouthfeel with a medium to low carbonation level.

O: The barrel aging really took this beer to another level with out sacrificing the complexities of the base beer. I'm glad it still retained the body that regular Plead the 5th carries. A must try.

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

Got on trade from a friend. Thx Markus! Served at 12deg C in a chalice. 2014 vintage.

A- Opens well and pours a 1" high dark brown head that films out in around 2mins. The head is very airy and the brew nearly black. Might even be too dark to use as a welding glass!

S- Oodles of bourbon. Tons of heat even though it's only 11%.

T- Bourbon on bourbon. Did I say lots of bourbon? Aged for a perfect time in a barrel that must have had a nice seepage into it during the bourbon aging. You can sure tell when a company re-uses a barrel but this one is fresh from the first use barrel. Might be a touch overpowering which takes it down from perfect in the flavor department. Touch hot. This one needs to sit.

M- A touch watery.

O- Excellent brew. If I ever find it, it's bought be it draft, bottle, whatever. This is an excellent brew on the verge of being perfect. Looking forward to finding more out there but want to let it sit at least 3yrs from vintage date to get that heat down a bit and get the subtle coffee and chocolatiess out of the brew.

Food Pairing

This food pairing is actually a bit difficult. It's the reason you don't see a lot of reviews of hard liquor with food- it overpowers. With that being said, this brew went very well with....... Chocolate cake with chocolate icing. Bourbon and chocolate pair well together and the cake with definitely move that cake up a level.

Enjoy

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

Very dark, viscous pour with a thin brown head that barely retains. The nose is rich and bourbony. I could smell this beer the moment the cap was removed. Bittersweet chocolate, toasted oak, bourbon, a little dark fruit, and some candy-like sweetness. Nice!

Full body with a rich bourbon-forward flavor and a nice silky feel. Lots of bittersweet chocolate and coffee with the bourbon coming on strong around mid-palate. Not much vanilla, as the heavy chocolate tends to mask some of the toasted oak. I do get some dark fruit near the finish and a little alcohol warmth as well. Some coffee and chocolate lingers behind.

I'm always amazed at how the top-of-the-line bourbon-barrel-aged stouts get so much bourbon flavor into their beers without making them boozy. Like all the best ones, this one drinks like a liqueur. It reminds me a lot of Bell's Black Note Stout, only with more chocolate in the profile. It's amazing stuff and I hope I am fortunate enough to get to try it again someday.

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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 sukwonee
4.24/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black and black... tiny mocha head, with very little lacing.

S: Wow... bourbon, cherry, molasses, oak, brown sugar, chocolate. Very boozy but strong smell.

T: Bourbon, vanila, brown sugar, chocolate, quite strong cherry and dark fruits, some smoke and hops near the end. Sweet and Slightly too boozy for me, but big big taste (follows the nose)

M: A bit too hot for me and surprisingly not as thick nad syrupy as I expected for a big beer like this.

O: Very nice bourbon barrel aged stout, but not my favorite. I much prefer this over the normal plead the 5th (which was a bit too smokey for my taste).

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.04/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I have been waiting a while to try this one, but I was finally able to acquire it in a trade. Needless to say, I was excited to try it but found myself experiencing a mild letdown.

The stout had a mild bourbon aroma with malts lingering in the background. For a 14%ABV, I was anticipating a stronger bourbon aroma. In the initial taste, I detected vanilla, malt, bitter dark chocolate, burnt malts, and perhaps dark fruits. However, the taste just seems to end there with malts. There is a warming nature to the aftertaste, which one might find quite pleasant. In terms of taste, I just do not think this beer finished well. The thickness of the mouthfeel allow a sort of vacuum of malt which led to nothing more. For such a bold style, I expected more taste, and it just was not there.

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

Ba plead the 5th '12 vintage, huge thanks to Ron for the bottle!

Has a viscous black color, with a dark brown, fizzy head, revealing a small film of lacing at the edge of the glass.

Smells of cocoa nibs, toffee and lots of warm oak, exhibiting distinct vanilla notes. A hint of cinnamon settles among toasted malts and tobacco, while the aromas lead into a rich chocolate direction. Well pronounced barrel reveals quite a bit of Bourbon, which gets gently balanced by melted chocolate.

Drinks expectedly smooth, letting the complex character evolve.

Tastes of bakers chocolate and fudge, accompanied by whipped cream, while scorched malts, hot oak, cinnamon and mint reveal the beers fantastic flavors. The brews smooth mouthfeel sets new standards, which gets especially well accentuated by carbonized malts, earth and bitter coffee, providing a tremendous range of flavors. Has a hot, oak supported finish, with toffee, fudge and vanilla on top, while coffee creates a long lasting, slightly dry ending, with tobacco and earth.

Awesome beer, incredibly rich in flavors - very focused on creamy chocolate, and roasted coffee with burned malts as its counterpart, while staying focused and in perfect balance. This intriguing melange gets enriched by the hot boubon barrel, adding vanilla and wooden oak to the taste, as well as a hot glow. Chocolate developes on the palate, beginning as creamy milk chocolate, while ending as slick bitter chocolate.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.69/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2011 into an Avery Tulip

3/4" head slowly rises from the thick black oil looking brew. Head is made of dense soapy bubbles.

Strong vanilla/bourbon scent, smells great, a bit on the strong side, but still great! Oakey, woody and dense 90% dark chocolate.

Chalky, milky, dark and robust. Tons of well hidden heat. Bourbon flavor is fantastic! Lots of vanilla flavors Light carbonation, no bitterness, and fantastic after tastes.

If you follow my reviews, you'll see I rarely "throw around" "5s"... This brew is Fantastic and is a total ass kicker @ 14%, wow. Great depth and character in this fine, fine brew.. Highly recommended and should be considered a MUST try. Thank you for sharing abanton!!!

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Photo of pagriley
4.19/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Re-visiting after being seriously underwhelmed the first time

L - pours almost jet black with a thin ring of mocha foam
S - Prominent bourbon on the nose with hints of coconut and chocolate
T - richer than I remember from last time with chocolate, hints of smoke and a ton of bourbon. Lots of ash on the finish - a bit too much black patent malt for my preference.
F - On the thinner side for the style. Wish this had more heft and chew to balance the astringent ash

Overall much better the 2nd time around, but still not quite what I would hope. Fresh is way better, but the ashy black malt on the finish is a bit jarring

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
1.36/5  rDev -69.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip. Thanks to Dunt for the sample.

Appearance: This pours an oily molasses brown, nearly black in the center of the glass. A faint ruby tint in the edge of the glass, but almost no light sneaks through. No head whatsoever, even with an aggressive pour. Uh oh.

Smell: I get the requisite bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate and roasted malt, but there is also a good amount of sour cherry and a little bit of funk that pull the aroma down.

Taste: I would say it is unfortunate that the lack of carbonation really flattened out all of the flavors, but since there is also an unnatural infection in this bottle, maybe not. I can taste a bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, and roasted malt, but they are all nuanced behind a dominant sour cherry flavor with some funk as well. The lack of carbonation also makes it difficult for any one flavor to stand out. This is an unfortunate composite of flat flavor.

Mouthfeel: The first problem is that there is no carbonation in this bottle at all. With it being completely flat, none of the flavors are allowed to blend together and come through. The second problem is that by being infected, the body has thinned out, leaving a dry, medium bodied 14% bourbon barrel aged stout in its wake.

Overall: This is a beer I was really looking forward to, to have it flat AND infected was a huge disappointment.

Note: This IS the bourbon barrel aged version, not the Aigre version that is supposed to be sour.

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Photo of rypkr
4.2/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2015 poured into a snifter. Inky and frothy with little head.

Smells has me concerned. There's a very, very evident sour green apple smell I'm picking up. Mild bourbon, no roast, lots of candied sugar.

Taste like watery acidic nothing. This is nothing like the base beer. Something is very wrong here. It's mostly flat which is perplexing given that it's only a year old and wax sealed. This is clearly a botched bottled. I traded for this and gave no idea the history of how it was stored etc but this is a sad, sad drain pour.

--------------------------

2-16-17 new review. Very eager to retry this.

This time it's a draft pour. 1 hour old it was poured to a 16oz mason jar growler. From there it was poured into a snifter at home.

Dark coca cola inky body, lots of frothy khaki head. Sticky, sugary lacing. (Appearance bumped to 4.25 from 4)

Smells heavily of dark fruit and molasses. Lots of carmel,vanilla and oak. Bourbon comes through just right, not too strong and well meddled in. Still getting something faint along the lines of a granny smith apple. (Smell bumped to 4.25 from 2)

Tastes roasty and sweet at the same time. Lots of cream, lots of vanilla cues. More char than I recall from the base beer strangely. Bourbon isnt that prominent in flavor. (Taste bumped to 4.0 from 2.0)

Mouthfeel is awesome. It's creamier than most oatmeal stouts. It's very, very mild on the carbonation and heavy in body. Also quite dry. (Feel bumped to 4.75 from 1.5)

Overall. A much better experience. Very good beer, but after all the bb stouts I've had over the last few years I'm honestly not sure this is among the best of them. It's good, but not awesome like I wanted it to be. (Overall score bumped to 4.25 from 1)

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Photo of nataku00
4.55/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 2012 bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours very dark brown, bordering on black, with a half a finger of thin light brown head. Head dissipates immediately to a thin collar and a few patches of lacing, but plenty of alcohol legs on the glass surface.

Nose is big on bourbon, charred oak, toasted nuts, vanilla combined with fruity dark chocolate, freshly brewed espresso, roasted malt, burnt sugar. Even straight out of the fridge, the aromas are huge.

Taste started with a touch of bitter hops, burnt sugar, then lightly bitter dark roasted espresso and roasted malt, lightly smoky, before mellowing into sweeter dark chocolate and caramel. Bourbon flavors flourish on the finish, along with the dark chocolate.

Full bodied, thick and creamy with some soft barely there carbonation. Very sticky on the lips so a bit of residual sugar. A very good imperial stout.

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Photo of cvm4
4.05/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2014 vintage

L - Has that motor oil pour and deep, black body with a minimal medium tan head.

S - Rich aroma of caramel, vanilla, oak, bourbon and roasted malts.

T - Roasted malts that develop into a sweet bourbon through the middle and a coffee as well as light charred oak ending.

F - Medium bodied with low carbonation. Has a smooth mouthfeel. The body could be a bit thicker &/or chewier.

O - A legit BBA RIS. Glad I got to try it and wouldn't turn down another.

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Photo of pjkelley82
4.81/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Review #500....

Wow... started on this site in may of 2013 and probably had a total of 50 beers craft and big brew before starting my journey into craft... number 500 is a good one...

Thanks Jas45678.... poured from bottle into Teku glass... split with a friend to give hime an opportunity to try a rare brew ..

Standard looking barrel aged stout. Black brown with a thin mocha colored head, not to watery, not like pouring oil. Nice ring left around, thin skin, sparse lacing and some legs as its swirlled around.

Smell was soft bourbon, chocolate, fudge, chocolate covered espresso bean, slight vanilla and toast, nice tobacco and dark fruits thrown in..

Taste was coffee fudge in the front, with a roast and malt taste coming thru with slight tobacco and vanilla. Bourbon is so sweet and delisious but its dialed back. Usually thats the first thing I pick up but this one is nice and subdued and plays a back up tole like it should. Slight toffee of butterscotch with a nice sweet finish and bitterness to compliment.

Very nice feel from the brew. Not too heavy, not too sticky but definitely can call this one a barrel aged stout all day. Very light carnonation standard finish.

Overall I had high expectations for this brew and it didn't disappoint. I kind of knew it would be damn good and it was. The base beer was great and they complimented it with a good barrel addition that didn't take away but stood out on its own. Very pleased with this brew and glad I have more.

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Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.3/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2011 bottle, big thanks to Loweball 727!

Appearance: Black as Eddie Murphy with a small tan head that quickly recedes to the perimeter.

Smell: Oh yea! Barrel notes galore with vanilla, caramel, bourbon, dark fruit, dark chocolate, roasted malt sweetness. I'm even getting a bit of red wine character in there, nice.

Taste: Everything I like about normal Pt5, with barrel character to boot. I was almost afraid to drink this because I thought it would ruin the normal Pt5 for me. I don't even think I would say that this is better, it just adds another dimension with the barrel notes. I like both versions. What I like about this is that the bourbon character isn't overwhelming at all. Rather, it is evident but not overbearingly so and helps the other components to blend together with more unity.

Mouthfeel: This is a bit more viscous than the standard version of this brew. A little more stickiness is evident.

Overall: I love the non bb aged version of this so much, and this is a nice variation. Some of the malt sweetness I love in the fresh version of this beer is muted here, or it is perhaps this way because this is an '11 bottle. Either way, I like this, but until I try a fresh version of this, Fresh Pt5 wins out for me.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.55/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage courtesy of waltersrj. 12oz bottle into a Stone IRS snifter.

A: Pours pitch black with a tan head that foams up to about half an inch and quickly disappears just as fast it shows up leaving a small island of bubbles in the middle of the glass. No lacing to speak of. Completely opaque. So dark that the glass actually reflects like a mirror.

S: Bourbon, and a lot of it, damn. Neat bourbon, vanilla and oak. Nutty and slightly buttery as well. Lots of chocolate and a little bit of roast. Really reminds me of these chocolate bourbon balls that a lady I used to work with made around the holidays. The bourbon smell makes me think booze, but it isn't really boozy at all.

T: Impressive, chocolatey and vanilla meld together to make a massively sweet beer with undertones of chocolate, oak, and even a slight hop resin profile in there. Huge barrel character in this. Long oaky finish. This is an absolutely massive beer. Massive stout that has a ton of raw bourbon barrel flavor as well. Impressive.

M: Spot on, thick but not cloying, slight amount of warmth but not hot, and just the right amount of carbonation to make this velvety smooth. Excellent.

O: Thoroughly enjoyable, easily one of the best BA stouts that I've had. Tons of massive bourbon, but the stout shines enough to make it really interesting. Definitely a beer for whiskey lovers. Glad to try it!

Thanks Ryan!

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Photo of azdback
4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a small snifter. Ultra black color with not a hint of highlights. Head is almost non existent but does have a nice collar that is light brown colored and leaves just a bit of lace.

Smell is quite bourbon forward. Lots of vanilla, burnt wood, tart dark fruit. Definitely some alcohol. Very very nice!!

Taste is lots of roast, char, chocolate, vanilla, some mild tart cherries. Tons of booze but not unwelcome.

Body is viscous and rich, mouth is full with medium to mild carbonation. Finish is very long and wet.

Overall I was very impressed with this. I have had the base beer and enjoyed it but the barrel did an amazing job to this. Very smooth and rich barrel characters reminded me a lot of Parabola or Old Raspy XI. Possibly a bit better and more drinkable.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.57/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Uh whoa. That's the long and short of it. Into 25cl saison glass @ room temp thanks to my main man kzoobrew.

Pours low carbonation with a very dark brown head that's about a 1/2 finger. Considering the ABV, I'd say it looks damn good.

Aroma is intoxicating- I am swooning. Toasted oak, bourbon, vanilla and deep dark malt.

Taste... what can I say? This beer is hot and heavy. Lots of bourbon. The base holds up well, though, and the flavors meld. I think this is an improvement on an already great beer. Bourbon drinkers will appriciate this. The toasted oak and caramel/vanilla bourbon flavors do the base beer well. Already a rich stout, the barrels make it opulent.

This one is pretty hot- I really like it although I like hot beers. I think the bourbon is rather dominant but it's not over-reaching. Assertive without being overbearing.

Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good stuff. Thanks, kzoo.

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Photo of CNoj012
4.7/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This beer pours a jet black color with a very small mocha head. It quickly dissipates to a small rim around the edge of the glass. There are few small spots of lacing. The smell is roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, vanilla and bourbon. Taste is the same, but stronger than the smell. Slight alcohol heat on the finish. Feel is thick, oily and really coats your whole mouth, perfect. Overall an amazing, world class beer. Only problem is now I have to trade for more.

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.43/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to jdhowe for sharing this recently. 2013 vintage. Note that as of this writing I have not tried the regular Plead the 5th yet, but I intend to crack it open eventually. Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

As expected, pours a thick syrup of a stout, with a treacle-like consistency that appears to end as sludge into the glass, save for some minor mocha-colored foam that shows yet gently dissipates throughout the course of consumption. Super viscous, oily, and resinous if I ever saw a stout of this caliber before - my favorite part was the tremendous amount of scattered shrapnel lacing that coated all sides of the glass every time that I would give this a good swirl. Normally extremely syrupy looking RIS offerings are not my favorite, but this one contains a bit of prowess and charm overall in its liqueur like properties. Very memorably intimidating.

Wow! That's an extremely sweet bourbon aged stout, but for reasons you'd perhaps least expect. Yes, there's some classic bourbon sweet notes of toffee, vanilla, and cinnamon at the back, but the front is chock filled with the sweetness of caramel soaked dark cherries, blackcurrant, and figs, as well as obvious notes of roasted chocolate, coffee, and molasses. Impressive barrel spices and non-fruit make up the mid flavor, releasing notes of licorice, tobacco, leather, and violets throughout. Very stimulating stuff, with the only major drawback being the high presence of booze throughout, notably stinging the nostrils at every whiff. Sweet, but pretty restrained. Still extremely complex and memorable, as this kinds of beers must be.

I expected a boozy, sweet, barrel laden RIS from the aroma, but instead after my first sip I came across, to my knowledge, the most balanced and perhaps easy-going offering of its kind. It's a big beer, no doubt, but doesn't make that clear throughout. Vivid, rich notes of fudge, chocolate nibs, caramel, and molasses sugar coat dark fruit notes (mainly of dark cherries and prunes) as the beer soon melts with many of the barrel spices mentioned earlier. Vanilla and toffee are obvious, but tobacco, leather, and pepper are also very present. Earthy and roasted, with some sweetness and fruitiness that makes it feel robust in character. Finishes medium-bodied, with a dry, bready flavor awash with spices and sweetness that cleanse the palate overall. Stupidly balanced, as far as the style goes - this provides the drinker with all the best aspects within it without one of them overpowering the other. If it weren't for the high booze, I could certainly have more of this in one evening.

This is an amazing beer, and absolutely worth checking out, but I enjoyed it for many surprisingly different reasons from what I'd initially heard. It's rich, robust, and contains all of the barrel characteristics I enjoy best in these beers, but it doesn't smack you upside the head doing it, which I enjoy. No clue how this would age, but it's pretty extraordinary fresh. Don't go too much out of your way to get some, but all fans of the style should have it at least once.

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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.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.19/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours black as night, as expected, with a small and chocolate brown head forming. The head is just a whisp of foam on the top of the beer, but it does leave a pretty good lace pattern.

S- Big and dark roasted malts hit the nose first, just like a good Russian imperial should. Next comes a bit of bourbon barrel spiciness. Oak and vanilla are the prominent barrel scents, with just a touch of the bourbon sneaking in. Towards the back end of the smell, it turns sweeter than most stouts, but then the dark malts return and leave you with traditional stout flavors on the nose.

T- Just like the smell, this beer starts with a bang of deep, dark malts. Slightly bitter dark chocolate and just a touch of coffee hit the tongue and lead you into the middle of the drink. The barrel spice moves in during the middle of the drink with a touch of vanilla and a bit of boozy bourbon. The barrel flavors mix in with the dark malts and form a fairly complex overall flavor. The beer leaves a somewhat bitter aftertaste on the tongue after the drink is finished.

M- The alcohol is evident a little bit while sipping this beer, but it really shines in how smooth it is. Low carbonation levels and a thick and heavy flavor profile make this somewhat of a slow drink. On the whole, this is a silky smooth, thick, and heavy beer that goes down smooth for its weight.

Overall, this beer is very, very good. The great dark malts with chocolate and coffee interact with the bourbon barrel very well without overpowering the malts or becoming to aggressive to be enjoyed. I like this beer.

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Photo of mattboyer182
4.75/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - pours dark black and a vague tan head.

S - bourbon hits you in the face. Rich malts and apparent alcohol.

T - wow. Sweet intense bourbon. Great wood taste lies underneath.

M - heavy, rich body and light carbonation.

O - for sure the best out of these stouts. So sweet and delicious.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.81/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter; 2014 vintage.
Shared with a craft beer noob…and blew his mind (his brains are still on my ceiling)!
Thanks to I_BYE_MI_BEER for the bottle.

A: Pours “…darker'n a black steer's tookus on a moonless prairie night.” Billows up to one finger of creamy, thick mocha head that dissipated relatively quickly, settling to a persistent, creamy collar and leaving no lacing.

S: A massive nose; big bourbon boozy nose with some hot alcohol; dark roasted malts, cocoa nibs, and some subtle vanilla sweetness.

T: Wow, a really complex profile that starts with thick, rich dark roasted malts, dark chocolate and boozy bourbon. The dark fruits (dates, raisins, prunes), tobacco and sweet malt fill out the palate with subtle vanilla and toffee notes coming out. The finish is long and dries out a bit with some bittering hops and espresso char.

M: Medium-heavy body and low carbonation make it smooth, creamy and rich but not cloying.

O: This is one of the best BBA stouts I have ever had. I loved it…and wished I didn’t share it ;-)

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Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
4.48 out of 5 based on 3,088 ratings.
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