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:
3,126
Reviews:
436
Avg:
4.48
pDev:
7.59%
 
 
Wants:
2,146
Gots:
863
For Trade:
113
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,126 |  Reviews: 436
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 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 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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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 zestar
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

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 Thorpe429
4.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to Eric for bringing this bottle to the post-Christmas tasting in Chicago.  Really glad to be able to try this.  Served in a Cantillon tulip.

Pour yields a beer that is near black with a thin whisper of a mocha head without any real retention, just a few bubbles here and there.  The nose brings forward all sorts of delight with nice bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, and roast.  Also, there was a bit of a creamy peanut butter note that I really enjoyed.  The taste wasn't quite as nice and explosive but the bourbon did quite a few great things for the base beer.  Good oak and bourbon throughout, creating a really nice feel.  No hint of the huge alcohol presence. Drinks quite well and my pour was gone well before I had gotten enough of this to satisfy my thirst.  Thanks again, Eric!

 811 characters

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

Had this on tap at DH and at Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Fest

Pours 1 finger of creamy dark tan head that has amazing retention. Color is an oil black.

Aroma: Warming bourbon, thick rich chocolate. Roasted malts. The nose is fairly muted.

Taste: Much better here. Bigger bourbon flavors, oak, sweet chocolate, vanilla, caramel, dark fruits, and raisins.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, smooth, and warming. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends rich, sweet, and malty.

Overall, a solid -bal aged stout. Great flavors and very drinkable. Very impressed with DH on this one.

 588 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

As my birthday arrives in a couple hours, I figured I'd scratch a top beer off the list, one I've been waiting to do for a while. This sits at #21 currently so relevant. 2011 vintage thanks to juliusseizure (Reddit). And this being a smaller bottle I can actually finish and enjoy it without needing a friend. I think the requires a fun review too.

Pours out like a midnight waterfall of black as black beer, light not even getting through the pour, but not thick as I expected, no motor oil in this one. A light fizzy super dark colored head forms like the dew attempting to form on a nice spring day, only to disappear like my paycheck after I visit the liquor store, never to be seen again, but typical for this high abv, a nice slick on the sides of the glass produces legs running from here to Arkansas.

Nose is about what I expected, a glass of disappointme... wait no not that, glass of awesomeness! It has all the characters of a great barrel aged imperial stout with a few years under it's belt. No alcohol at all, not even a whisp, nice dark chocolate but not overly fudgey or cocoa like, a good baker's chocolate perhaps from a good version of Hershey's (cause Dark Horse is also from PA, get it... eh nevermind). It also brings a nice layered soft aged malt like a big aged barleywine or old ale would do, but this time in stout form! Malts, form of Stout! Roast, attempting to roast it up, but just mellows out like it matured nicely. And barrel, that good old vanilla barrel, with a mild bourbon note, just wish the bourbon was abit more for an old bourbon fanatic such as myself.

Taste is loaded with anticipation, wait that's what I have before I sip it. I spit it out, well not me, the glass spit it into my mouth and it was delicious. Again that huge layered soft aged malt kicks ass, that old ale stout hybrid shizzle. Then more dutch chocolate, little fudgey and very thick, cocoa infested for sure, with a nice tongue tickling luscious velour chocolate flavor, not quite Choc Rain level but very nice regardless. Again that roasty and super dark malt character wants to just smash my mouth, but aging to the rescue! The 3 years just smacks the want to be super roasty soy sauce and shows it a thing or two, and now it's delicious, and even hints at roasted coffee. A layer of caramel nudges through, as well as a little fluffy chocolateized nougat, a bit airy too. A hint of bitterness I think, or perception of it. Barrel also comes into play a bit but not as much as I'd like. Probably the one thing that the aging process screwed over, the nice barrel, but I end up with a bit of a nice vanilla and hint of bourbon notes in the background. Finish is drier but a little mouth coating feel, layered fudgey choc, and more cocoa vanilla and pure deliciousness lingering.

Mouth is thick, rich, velvety and creamy, velour! with decent carb for the age and style, and the faintest hint of booze somewhere in teh background just slightly nagging at me like an ant crawling on my leg.

Overall, just one word, YES!

 3,033 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -10.7%

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

12 oz bottle.
Aroma/Flavor: Rich, complex, and smooth. Well balanced Very lightly boozy; ABV seems notably lower than 11%. Fine whisky notes.

Mouthfeel: Very Full bodied.

 174 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of Kegatron
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of nathanmiller
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Rifugium
4.36/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at Hawthorne's, Philly, PA

This guy eluded me for a while, but I finally caught it at Hawthorne's. Served in a Chimay chalice, I can't imagine a better looking beer: thick, dark black like motor oil, capped with a creamy dark chocolate head that quickly sank to a ringlet of bubbles. Maybe a little more retention would've been nice, but I didn't expect much from such a high octane beer. Aroma of dark malts, moderately roasty, dark chocolate, heavy bourbon. Dark sweet malts in the taste, chocolate chips, toasted marshmallow, heavy yet smooth bourbon with notes of vanilla and oak. Full body, creamy and delicious, a great sipper. Not quite as smooth as a nicely aged BCBS, but a great brew nonetheless.

 725 characters

Photo of XmnwildX12
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of billab914
4.65/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage poured from a 12oz bottle into my Bruery tulip. It poured pitch black in color with a thin tan head scattered across the top of the beer and concentrating around the edges of the glass.

The aroma shows a little more of the bourbon and barrel character to it. I get some dark chocolate and brown sugar to it with just a bit of roasted malts to it. The bourbon is nice in it, very smooth.

The taste really integrates the bourbon barrel flavors into the beer nicely. It has a very rich, dark chocolate, brownie batter like flavor to it up front with a little more of a bitter, coffee, roasty character in the finish. The bourbon is smooth and adds some great complexity with some notes of brown sugar, oak, vanilla and alcohol. It had some really great flavors to it but what really impressed me is how well they balance the beer and barrel flavors.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being moderate. Overall it was a fantastic beer. The flavors came together extremely well in it and the barrel flavors complimented the beer perfectly instead of overpowering it. This one definitely lived up to the hype for me, one of the best barrel aged beers I've had.

 1,190 characters

Photo of drewone
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to funhog for this one, been a top want for a while!

A: Pours a deep black with a very small tan head that reduces quickly leaving a very thin ring on top. Minimal lacing forms and dissolves quickly.

S: Lots of bourbon and roasted malt up front, chocolate, molasses, vanilla, and a little bit of dark fruit. As it warms the wood comes forward a bit as well. There is a little bit of alcohol, just to let you know its there.

T: Fantastic flavor profile. A great blend of bourbon flavors, vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, mixed with a little bit of chocolate and light roasted malt. The bourbon really shines nicely in this beer, not too in your face. Faint dark fruit flavors add a bit of sweetness.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Slightly dry, but sweet finish. No sign of the alcohol in the taste.

O: Really great beer. The flavors blend nicely with the level of bourbon presence being spot on. I can see why it is so sought after.

 972 characters

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

Almost pitch black color with dark mocha head. Aroma is dominated by bourbon and dark malts. Taste is very well balanced, with great barrel character, some sweetness in the beginning but finishing roasty and bitter. Body is not as heavy as other imperial stouts, making it easy to drink. Overall a very nice barrel aged stout, up there with the other big hitters. Reminded me a lot of Bell’s Black Note.

 405 characters

Photo of duceswild
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
4.48 out of 5 based on 3,126 ratings.
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