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Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th | Dark Horse Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
99
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419 Reviews
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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:
419
Ratings:
2,995
Avg:
4.48
pDev:
20.54%
 
 
Wants:
2,168
Gots:
847
For Trade:
119
User Reviews
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Reviews: 419 | Ratings: 2,995
Photo of NolaHopHead
4.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Pours jet black, thin creamy tan head fades slowly to a ring, spotty lace. Deep chocolate aroma, mild bourbon and vanilla. Big chocolate flavor, vanilla notes, coffee. The bourbon notes are very soft, no heat. Mouthfeel is on the thin side, semi-soft and silky, oily. Very good bourbon barrel stout, glad I have another bottle.

 347 characters

Photo of nawpnawp
4.38/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick black with brownish head that subsides with a sticky lacing. The smell is heavy chocolate and coffee with notes of bourbon. There is a nice balance between the sweetness and bitterness. The chocolate and coffee are both present, and the bourbon comes in on the aftertaste.

I haven't had non-BA Plead the Fifth, but the bourbon isn't very strong on this. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but regular Pt5 might be just as good.

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Photo of eifster82
3.96/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

2015 bottle into mini snifter.

Dark, black appearance with a slight amber ring on the edge of glass. Smell was basically same as regular Pt5th. Taste had some bourbon presence but not nearly as much as you would expect out of a double digit abv stout. Some raisin and black licorice taste. The sad highlight of this beer is how fast it must have fallen off. I don't know if it wasn't cellared properly or what, but back end was all cardboard and nothing resembling an imperial stout. I got nothing resembling what people are describing in reviews below mine. Very disappointing.

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Photo of Masonz223
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Note: 2015 bottle
Smell: cinamon vanilla coconut sugary rasin sweet chocolate
Taste: upfront vanilla charcoal middle of the mouth sugared coverd rasin malt sweetness a faint cinamon sticky sugary milk chocolate. Finished with a real sharp dark roasted coffee dark chocolate a little bit of smokiness and some alchool heat present.
Feel: medium body a nice coffee biterness lingers in the finish.
Overall: it has all the flavores you look for in a barrel aged stout. Though I wished the flavores were more in your face especially that cinamon I got in the nose. Still a little boozy to could age longer which isn't a big surprise still pretty young. Saying all that this beer is still pretty damn good!

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Photo of Amguerra305
4.46/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured pitch black like motor oil with almost not head. Smelled of barrel, bourbon, chocolate, and hints of vanilla and coffee. Taste did not follow suit. There was a bit of chocolate up front but something was lacking in the middle. The taste of the barrel connoted more green wood than barrel wood. At the end there is a flavor that merges and connotes a very woody expression. The mouth feel was stupendous. Thick and coating. Overall this is a very good beer with a great nose that needs to work a bit on the taste.

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

2015 vintage
12oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a jet black color with a small foamy dark tan head that sticks around for a while before settling into a ring around the edge of the glass

S- aroma opens with a mixture of dark chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, black cherries & light espresso. There's a nice oaky bourbon note that flows throughout the aroma, adding light touches of vanilla, coconut & spicy wood

T- opens up with smoky charred roasted malt flavors that brings out a coffee-like bitterness, followed by a big hit of bourbon barrel that brings notes of spicy wet oak, caramel, vanilla and bourbon. The finish brings a sweetness of dark fruits, along with a linger of caramel and more bourbon

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a viscous mouthfeel that turns creamy into the finish

O- an already awesome RIS receives a barrel treatment very well, creating a sipper that gets better as it warms

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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.

 1,107 characters

Photo of pants678
4.34/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Black with thin khaki head.

Sweet and sorta sharp bourbon.

Dark chocolate and bourbon. Not as potent and sweet as Chocolate Rain. Robust, though, more intense than expected. Alcohol's not exactly covered but isn't a detractor.

Fairly sharp as opposed to smooth.

 264 characters

Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.49/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black with a nice big tan colored head on top. Aroma is boozy and sweet. Notes of bourbon, toffee, sweet caramel, roasted malts, and dark chocolate make up this whale's smell.

It's flavor truly has a lot going on. Dark chocolate, walnuts, roasted malts, bourbon, coffee, more roasted malts. A significant alcohol warmth is noticed.

This is one tasty stout, I'm glad I got my hands on one of these.

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

Great beer all around. Just a notch below Founders KBS and Bells Black Note in my opinion. Regardless, another great Michigan BBA Stout worth trading for/trying!

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Photo of DblDiamond
4.67/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Sweet baby Jesus! Looks like motor oil, smells like bourbon and sweetness. Beautiful smooth bourbon that just lingers on the palate. This is an outstanding stout that I'm so happy to have had.

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Photo of Eiwatts9
4.65/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best BBA stouts around. Would happily trade for more again. This was provided as an extra in a trade and I got the better end of the stick in my opinion. If you like BBA stouts this is hands down a "need to try".

 223 characters

Photo of iliketurtlesthx
4.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 bottle poured into a snifter

I love normal Plead the 5th. Of course when they barrel age it, it takes it to another level. Pours thick and super dark. Not too much head on it. Taste is absolutely wonderful, with chocolate and bourbon. A fair amount of heat, but I love the heat.

Please get this into distro in 2016 =)

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.54/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance.
Body : Dark. Dark dark dark. Obsidian, cascadian, just...dark. Nothing escaping from this pit of black.
Head : Angry reddish brown with 2 fingers fading to a ring in my snifter.

Aroma.
Initial : Dark fruits, namely plum and black cherry; some burnt malts, a hit of coffee, and a sappy bourbon aroma chasing everything.
With Agitation : adds a shade of brightness over everything - tart cherries, melon, and chocolate fountain.

Taste.
Front end : Explosion of dark malts, burnt cocoa, tobacco.
Back end : Theres the Plead The Fifth we all love. A sweet, syrupy chocolate rush with plums, raisins, and dark cherry
Finish : The bourbon hits and the heat rises up from the throat to dry out the tongue. A sweet, sappy, syrupy chocolate/dark fruit/bourbon/ground coffee note persists and tantalizes for another sip.

Feel.
I mean, how do I explain a feel that I don't particularly pay attention to because it's so right on the money? The flavor and aromas are overwhelming enough, but the feel fits it just like it should with buzzing carbonation, dryness, and succulent sweetness. Lick the lips and you want more.

Overall : Who was even surprised here? Dark Horse makes some of the best stouts around and there's no doubt they know what they're doing. They've taken a perfect stout to another level by barrel aging it. If you lke the original Plead The 5th, this is one to check out when you're feeling like you want just a bit more heaviness and warmth to coddle you.

 1,487 characters

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

A 2015 bottle.

A - A deep brownish-black, with a thin tan head after pouring that disapates to a light film with a heavier ring.
S - Bourbon, chocolate, roasted malt
T - Silky bourbon with chocolate notes and coffee. Maybe a hint of leather.
M - Just about perfect. Substantial mouthfeel without being too heavy. Very smooth with the right amount of oiliness.
O - If I had to choose any BBA stout, it would be this one. Well done, Dark Horse.

 444 characters

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

Dark brown to black in color with zero head and no lacing.

Oak, Bourbon, vanilla, coffee, and a roasted note.

Bourbon, vanilla, coffee, oak, and a warming booze finish.

Mouthful is medium to heavy and super smooth. Carbonation is very low. Finish lingers.

An extremely well balanced beer. Very drinkable with hidden alcohol only present on the finish and as it warms. Mouthful is nice, not too heavy but not light. The minor negatives and I mean minor might be the oak being so strong on the nose. Seek this out and try it against the regular Pt5th.

 559 characters

Photo of earljones199
4.59/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle.

All chocolate.

It pours a jet black with not much head. Very thick and oily looking.

The smell is roasty, chocolatey goodness.

The taste follows the nose with a huge hit of chocolate and the dark rich roasted flavor I like in a big BB stout. This still had a good amount of the bourbon barrel flavors in it.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.44/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a midnight black with a very thin tan head.

S - Aroma is bourbon, chocolate, and vanilla.

T - The flavor is bourbon, dark chocolate, vanilla, and coffee. The finish has some lingering heat from the alcohol.

M - Full bodied with low carbonation. Smooth creamy mouthfeel with dry finish.

O - An incredibly solid BBA Russian Imperial Stout. Can only imagine this will be amazing with a year on it.

 408 characters

Photo of Catracho5
4.71/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter

A: Pours black with a tan colored head, no head retention, slight lacing, not much carbonation, looks like motor oil, looks really nice.

A: Bourbon, dark chocolate, vanilla, roasted malts, dark fruits, touch of coffee, no alcohol on the nose, has a lot of aroma, I could smell the bourbon and vanilla as I poured, very nice.

T: First impression is that this is very balanced and full of flavor, bourbon up front, vanilla, hint of dark chocolate, roasted coffee, dark fruits, touch of moderate coffee-like bitterness, finish is dry with notes of bourbon and dark fruits, the alcohol is noticeable and some heat lingers in the finish, but this drinks incredibly smooth for the high ABV.

M: Full bodied, low carbonation, dry finish, smooth, creamy mouthfeel, some heat but the other characteristics impress enough that the heat does not affect the pleasure of drinking this beer.

O: Very impressed, incredible amounts of aroma and tastes, big full bodied creamy smooth mouthfeel. I really wish I could this in southern California.

 1,072 characters

Photo of Trevor11
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An underrated bba stout from an under-appreciated brewery. The Tres Blueberries is outstanding but Plead the Fifth is on another whole level. I opened up a 2013 vintage on 2/17/16 and despite the 2+ years of aging, the bourbon barrel still comes through tremendously. There is very little head and not much aromatics either besides the wood of the barrel. I picked up a lot more dark chocolate in the initial notes and bourbon at the end with not much coffee given the age. Complexity remains and their is tremendous balance that lends drinkability regardless of its strong abv.

 578 characters

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.

 466 characters

Photo of SerialTicker
4.7/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

'14 Vintage bottle given to me unexpectedly by a craft beer enthusiast (Aaron <3). Haven't had this before because, for obvious reasons, I've never seen it anywhere. Heard great things, so I'm expecting great things. I wonder how this will be with 2-3 years on it (if you include how long it was in the barrel). Bbl #100.

Appearance: Aggressive-ish pour didn't do a whole lot at all for a head. Tiny tan ring on top of the beer, but that's it. In the glass, the beer looks black and viscous. Plays the part of a BBA'd imperial stout. (4.25/5)

Smell: In a word... mellow, I guess. Great aroma, but all a bit subdued. Maybe a preferred word would be balanced. I'm making it sound like a bummer. Nice bourbon, vanilla, and oak nose, with some coffee. There's a faint amount of booze as well, and quite a bit of sweetness. Right now, I think this may be past its prime just because its aroma is on the quiet side. I may also be crazy. Regardless, this stuff smells incredible. (4.75/5)

Taste/feel: Starts off with a rich roasted coffee flavor with a bit of chocolate until mid-sip where more depth/the barrel starts to come through and stay until the finish -- very pleasant and usual BBA'd flavors come in, like the barrel itself, bourbon, and vanilla. I get a little plain cake doughnut in there on the back end too, which is something I pick up occasionally in the style. The alcohol is exceptionally well-hidden, no doubt helped by the age on this bottle -- I don't taste or feel much alcohol at all. This is impressive to me just because I've yet to personally have a BBA'd imperial stout that was aged this long. The mouthfeel on this isn't ideal at first, but it's close. It goes in feeling a little thin with an unexpected fizz of carbonation, but as it sits on the tongue, it eventually starts to thicken and slicken (not a word, my apologies) up. Delicious as all hell. (4.75/5, 4.5/5)

The more I drink this, the more I believe the time to drink the '14 Vintage is NOW. There is no alcohol to really note, and the flavors are not going to randomly improve with more age. If you have any '14, drink it up or trade it up or give it up now so everybody is happy. This is truly a remarkable BBA'd stout. The way the age (presumably, given some reviews of fresher bottles) has mellowed this beer out has made it one hell of a delicious beer. I wish I had a lot more of this stuff, but I can't thank Aaron enough for this one bottle. If you have the opportunity to buy or trade for it, certainly do... just remember to not sit on your bottles for too long. Beer is meant for you to consume, not store in a shoe box in your bedroom.

(4.75/5)

 2,645 characters

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

This pours like a thick black sludge. Pours with a nice head, that vanishes quickly. No hints of lacing. A bit of foam can be stirred up with a swish of the glass. The nose on this beer is quite good. Loads of coffee, chocolate, vanilla, wood, and some alcohol. Very pungent. The taste is of fudge and coffee. Big Chocolate bomb here. There are slight hints of vanilla and some oak, maybe some bark. Not overly sweet at all. Love the bitterness in this one. The finish is pretty thick and luscious, but could be a little more full. This is truly a great beer though. Do not drink this one below 45 degrees as the flavors and texture really come out as it gets closer to room temp.

 694 characters

Photo of ragnar3
4.43/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage poured into a teku. Roasty, chocolate, bourbon and more coffee than anticipated in this one. The alcohol is more apparent than other BA stouts but was not overwhelming. Very enjoyable overall.

 205 characters

Photo of Kraj30
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

had two 8oz drafts... i has very light bourbon smell... a little thing for my liking.. vanilla and bourbon are on the taste but it is not very strong.. like to have a bottle or older bottle because this was very young

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Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
99 out of 100 based on 419 ratings.
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