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
BA SCORE
4.53/5
World-Class
3,208 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#77
Reviews:
448
Ratings:
3,208
pDev:
7.51%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
2,147
Gots:
865
Trade:
112
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,208 |  Reviews: 448
Photo of alexgash
5/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of bsuedekum
4.75/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Ratman197
4.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured a clear dark reddish brown with a small lingering brown head. Aromas of bourbon, oak, cocoa, light roastiness and light vanilla. Palate was medium bodied and smooth. Flavors of bourbon, oak, maple,light vanilla and light roastiness with a smooth lingering bourbon finish.

 285 characters

Photo of sarro
4.85/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed from tap at Detroit Fall beer fest.

This is the 6th time I've had this beer (4 on tap, two from bottle (and no infections like the mislabeled Aigre bottle review below))

Looks jet black with a dark brown head. Smell's of bourbon, roast, light coffee & malt. Taste is an incredible wave of bourbon soaked dark chocolate rounded out by a thick malty backbone. Not too sweet & finishes dry & a bit boozy (think 2009 BCS). Full mouth feel, perfectly carbonated and not syrupy like most other stouts/beers of this ABV. One of my top 3 favorite stouts.
An incredible bourbon barrel aged stout to say the least.

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Photo of kbutler1
4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft. Sampled at Great Taste. Pours a pitch black brown/black color with a slight mocha bronw head. The barrel and booze is pretty evident in the nose along with the normal imp stout characteristics of dark chocolate and some leather. The booze is pretty in your face to me on this one with it being the first thing I notice upon tasting, followed by the barrel, dark chocolate, and slight leather. Medium mouthfeel. Overall, I thought it a tad hot but otherwise pretty drinkable.

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Photo of camil1mj
4.82/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Detroit Fall Beer Fest. My wife got a pour so that I could have a full cup.

A: Deep, dark stout with reddish/brown head.

S: Wonderful bourbon tones with chocolate, roastiness taking a backseat.

T: Bourbon forward. Followed up by chocolate, roasted stouts notes. Perfect.

M: creamy. Smooth. Full-bodied. Appropriately carbonated.

O: Best at the beerfest. I understand the hype. Beats out the Blacknote.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.37/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on the eve of the August 27th JO's bottle release. Big thanks for sharing this. ~2 oz from a tasting snifter.

4.5 A: Black. Small medium brown head with good lacing.

5.0 S: Excellent duality between bourbon and beer. Sweet leathery bourbon that integrates seemlessly with the stout. Bourbon and barrel contribute a light fruitiness and touches of oak, but leave out any astringency. Super smooth I say. The beer below offers a deep chocolate, moderate roast, and ample caramel. Mild coffee too. Awesome.

4.0 T: Not as comples as the nose suggests. The sweetness is there with the chocolate and caramel, but the roastiness is much subdued. Mild sourishness, but not the infected kind. Moderate bourbon contributions and subtle oak. It's impossible to think that this is 14%. I still don't believe it.

4.0 M: Heavy body, but on the lighter end of the spectrum. Good moderate carbonation. Reasonably creamy.

4.5 D: A great beer that would be worth seeking out if they made a reasonable amount of it.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.52/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured on tap at the Great taste of the Midwest 2011. 5 oz pour into a tasting glass.

A- Pours a dark black color, with ½ finger to one finger brown head that dissipates quickly. Moderate lacing on the sides of the glass.
S- The aroma is awesome, big bourbon aroma, roasted malts, some chocolate and molasses notes, dark fruits (raisins, plums).
T- Big bourbon flavor but not overpowering, roasted malts, nice chocolate flavor, raisins, molasses, a bit warming as it goes down but not too much. Nice oak from the barrels adds a nice quality to this beer.
M- Big mouth feel, warm as it goes down, smooth and creamy on the finish.
O- Loved it, got to the line early enough to be one of the first to try it, quality Barrel Aged stout that is very drinkable for how high the abv, very happy I was able to drink this.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a black color with an average creamy brown head that mostly lasted and produced excellent lacing. Heavy toasted malt, bourbon and chocolate aroma. Full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Moderate to heavy complex toasted sweet bourbon flavor with a heavy toasted sweet finish of long duration. Best of fest complex standout brew.

 350 characters

Photo of KickInTheChalice
1.36/5  rDev -70%
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.

 1,481 characters

Photo of mfunk9786
4.83/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

WOW. Had on tap at Capone's during PBW. The unexpected star of my day.

This beer is perfectly balanced. Pours extremely dark, smells of vanilla bean, bourbon, and rich dark chocolate with a hint of the usual bitter stout trappings (licorice, anise, etc) which just add depth. The taste is more of the same, with a huge vanilla bean and dark fruit flavor that is nothing short of incredible. This beer is worthy of the hype on this site and I'd love to see it become a standard in bottles.

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Photo of Alpar
4.9/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Sugar Maple, what a fantastic surprise :)

A: Dark with a perfect level of carbonation that sticks around for a while.

S: Bourbon, malt, bread, vanilla, charred oak and a minute amount of anise.

T: Vanilla bourbon BOMB, awesome! Very smooth bourbon flavor. It tastes like marshmallows :) Reminds me of Vanilla Bean Dark Lord! I gwt some of the oak, malt and bread on the aftertaste, this is beautiful.

M: Surprisingly thin, but works to the beers advantage. I think it is perfect.

O: This is stellar. I hope I can get to the release of this beer if there is one in the future. Simply outstanding!

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Photo of weeare138
4.62/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears a dense, dark midnight toned onyx. A small tan head slowly fades into a gentle cap and collar. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of campfire s'mores with black grapes and sugary syrup.
Taste is of the aromas with a sugary sweetness up front followed by an oaky, vanilla, caramel blast.
Mouthfeel is sticky, full bodied, sugary, intensely insane, and smooth in the finish.
Jeez! This is one sick beer!

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Photo of smokeypeat
4.77/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally got to try this at Capone's for the end of PBW. Poured into a snifter the chocolate brown head dissipated quickly leaving no head to speak of, but major alcohol legs were present with each swirl of the glass. Smell on this was great. I must have looked like a junkie with the deep inhales I kept finding myself taking. Lots of deep roast espresso, dark chocolate, bourbon, and vanilla. Taste was even better. The integration of the bourbon into the base beer was exceptionally well done. This beer was exceptionally well balanced with great bourbon flavors present, but at no point did it overwhelm the stout. Nice coffee, roasted malt, and smooth bourbon on the tongue, with a great charred oak character right there. Vanilla became ever more present as the glass warmed up. I also got a hint of campfire type marshmallow. All of this had a great coating effect on the palate. I could drink this all the time. Definitely worthy of seeking out, and making efforts to go to tasting events to get a chance to try. Highly Recommended!

 1,039 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
4.47/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap, the 2009 vintage, 12ish%

Black with a dark brown head that has surprisingly poor retention or lacing, given the base beer. Still, this does look great, and has nice legs. The nose reminds me of dark lord. Big licorice and molasses mildly soy like even, with a big barrel character. Beautiful vanilla and oak with some tannins. Plenty of dark chocolate and dark caramel. Great nose, I almost want to give it a 5

The palate opens with a big boozy heat and plenty of bourbon working well with the chocolate and licorice. Plenty of malt and licorice bitterness as well. Thick chewy and boozy, this beer is sweet and hot on the finish with nice chocolate and vanilla. This is one of those few beers where the heat is well-incorporated in the flavor profile, mostly thanks to the huge body .Not as much soy on the palate, as the nose might suggest. A little overcarbonated, though, but that's personal preference. Letting it warm up and flatten out reveals how awesome this beer is.

 986 characters

Photo of philbe311
4.47/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Slight medium brown colored head quickly fades leaving just a thin collar around the glass... Slightly menacing black color... Minimal carbonation...

S - Lots of roasted malts... Vanilla... Smoke... Some dark chocolate... The scent of the bourbon barrel is present, but far from overpowering... It adds nicely to the overall aroma...

T - Fudgie brownies... Dark fruit... Roasted malts... A touch of smokiness... The bourbon continues to take prominence as this one warms a bit, but never overwhelms...

M - Full bodied... Thick... Slightly viscous... Subtle carbonation... Sleek... Silky smooth...

D - This one isn't for the timid or shy... A full bodied, full flavored, full throttled barrel aged stout... Lots of good things going on here... This one deserves a seat at the table of the best of the big time barrel aged stouts...

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Photo of homebrew311
4.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Sugar Maple.

A: pitch black, dark brown head that is short-lived , lots of lacing

S: huge roasted malts, deep chocolate followed by nice vanilla notes, huge oak barrel on the finish, this smells bold and delicious

T: the palate is absolutely dominated by chocolate and coffee, vanilla comes in and makes it's presence know , the finish is sweet with a touch of oak. The bourbon pairs beautifully with the base beer. This one is a winner!

Mf: huge body, moderate carbonation

O: this beer is a rollercoaster of flavor, It starts off with the delicious base of plead the fifth and then tacks on delicious bourbon character. This is a rarity worth trying!

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Photo of seeswo
4.52/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served on tap the night before FoBaB at Local Option. Served aside many other interesting beers, which were quickly cast aside for more pours of this beer.

Pours black with a thin ring of brownish head. Smell is an intoxicating light bourbon flavor, vanilla, oak, chocolate, roasted malts. The taste is just fantastic. Like the nose, the bourbon treatment on this beer is unbelievable. It is basically the opposite of Rare's deep, earthy bourbon flavor - this is big vanilla, light and playful. The integration of the base beer and the bourbon is dead on. I could drink tons of this beer all of the time. Special beer. Mouthfeel is creamy and lower carbonation. Overall, one of the best few BA imperial stouts I've ever had. Worth a cab across Chicago just to try.

EDIT: Had this a second time at the Great Taste and it was not nearly as good. Dropped the taste -.5 to reflect this change.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.5/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Starter of the night at an EPIC tasting at RB's Footbalm's house... Eric set the bar high.. Thanks buddy... I hope your travels treat you well, and our paths always cross.

Not much of a head... oily.. thick staining the glass deep brown brew...

I had a surprising number of proper pours of this brew over the evening and was increasingly impressed on each one.

Deep dark chocolate with dark malts punctuating the nose.. good oak and bourbon without ever becoming overdone...

Flavor is brownie batter spiked with dark chocolate covered espresso beans and good bourbon.. vanilla and oaky bourbon... something that I wrote down as toasted marshmallow.. everything is amazingly well integrated ... especially when warmer.

Thick and inviting.. wonderful.. lite carbonation but nobody complained.. I could have easily sat content with this bottle the entire night.

all 4.5's

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Photo of trappistlover
3.8/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(750ml shared at Dak's Final Four tasting!). Pours oily dark brown with think khaki head. Aroma has sweet bourbon, vanilla and oak. Taste is sweet with some sour notes. Full bodied with oily texture. Good, but I had higher expectations of this one..

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Photo of BieresDesMoines
4.26/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep impenetrable black with a good head that shocked me because every bottle of Plea The 5th I've opened has had a whisper of a head. This nice head leaves a subsequent nice lace. The aroma is plum, fig, vanilla, molasses, and plenty of deep roast. The flavor is loads of vanilla and chocolate with plenty of dark fruit and some nice fig and raisin notes with just a mild warming alcohol note. A delicious variation of an already delicious beer.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.21/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Compared the '11 and '12 next to each other. Pour is jet black with a dark caramel head but not a lot even after a strong pour. Nose is a nice mix of bourbon and light chocolate cake. There are some chalky notes and a bit of booze in back. Taste is more woody, light bourbon. Chocolate notes, faintly chalky but less than the nose. Full bodied and soft, a hint slick with moderate carbonation. Taste gets a little sweet in back and some lingering roasted malts.
The '11 has a richer nose and less sweet in the flavor. More balanced but less bright so you sacrifice a little in flavor expression for balance and tightness. Both are very solid, I would prefer the '11 with the 2 years in it. Rate from the '11.

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Photo of grub
4.23/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

sampled on tap at stub and herbs pre-darkness party, oct 22/2010.

pours inky black and opaque with a small layer of fine dark brown head. the head quickly drops to a ring around the glass and leaves only a few spots of lace.

aroma is good. bourbon and vanilla. bit of raw oak. coffee and espresso. whole wheat bread and biscuit. dark chocolate. bit of milk chocolate. earthy and woody.

taste is great. similar to the aroma, with more bittersweet and dark chocolate. just under medium bitterness level. espresso. hint of oxidaiton. the barrel is actually farily mellow, allowing the stout beneath to show through.

mouthfeel is good. medium-large body. medium-light carbonation level.

drinkability is good. nie balance. barrel is not all that assertive and works well.

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Photo of RedSpecial1
4.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this at a local beer bar. It had very little head, and even that didn't stick around very long; there was also very little carbonation. The smell was of bourbon, oak, and a well balanced malty sweetness. The taste was of bourbon and oak first with a very slight roast barley bitterness. This faded to a bourbon vanilla sweetness that coated the mouth. Finally, it finished with a bit of alcohol heat, but not too much, especially considering its high ABV. The mouthfeel was thick and rich, coating your whole mouth leaving a malty sweetness that lingers. For a beer this big it is surprisingly drinkable. I couldn't resist getting a second glass, but the alcohol in this drink is well hidden, and could easily creep up on you.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.17/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black. Tan head holds for a couple minutes, then fades to a thin ring. Not much lace, but still good looking.

Lots of roasty malt. Oak and bourbon notes abound. Dark chocolate. A good amount of wood, without being overwhelming.

Roasty malt, nice bourbon character with some oaky tannins. Very minimal fruit. A hint of vanilla.

Medium body with a nice creamy feel. Some warming alcohol. Overall, very nice, but a bit hot.

 432 characters

Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.53 out of 5 with 3,208 ratings
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