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

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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 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.

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Photo of mjpolzin
4.1/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a 4 oz pour of this at Great Taste of the Midwest. Because I only got to have 4 ounces and because you try so many different beers at this festival, it is tough for me to give this the review it deserves but here it goes...

Bourbon seemed to be the dominant taste in this beer. It was overpowering but enough so that it did mask some of the other stout flavors I usually like to find. From reading some other reviews on this site, I am sure that if I had let this beer warm a bit some of the other flavors would have come out.

I am slowly starting to appreciate Dark Horse as I have started to have more of their beers. When comparing other big stouts that I had during the day at Great Taste, this was for sure one of the top 3.

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

Had two 4oz pours of this beer at the Great Taste. The first pour was so good as it warmed up that I had to go back and get more. I should honestly not be reviewing this beer despite having 8oz- but just keep in mind that I intend this to be for my own personal records. YMMV.

The beer is a viscous, very dark black looking beer that came with a small dark brown head that disappeared fairly quickly. Looks to be par for the course for a nice barrel-aged stout. Not much film, not much collar, not much lacing to be found.

The beer smells fairly tame out of the tap. You get a little bit of dark chocolate and roast malts. Starts out nothing special but it really evolves into something amazing when it gets warmed up (which after 5 minutes out in that 80 degree temperature and in the sun at the GTMW was enough), it becomes a full blown roasty malt and chocolate+vanilla bomb. You can smell a bit of oak, but it was dominated by the roast malts and the chocolatey vanilla combination. It was great.

The taste is the same as the nose- it was disappointingly tame when it was cold but after it warmed up, it became something really special. So much vanilla, roasty malts and dark chocolate sweetness with a bit of coffee bitterness to balance everything out. It was great, honestly the best part of the beer.

The feel on this one is full bodied, very thick and resinous. It's so easy drinking for such a big beer. Aftertaste is so much of that sweet roast malt with some sweet bourbon flavour in the back. Not a lot of booze here either, which is fantastic.

Great beer, I would have gone back for more but my friends told me there was other beer at this festival. Oops. I really enjoyed this one, and I would have to say its comparable to Black Note, and beats BCBS by a decent bit because its just not as boozy.

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Photo of Jimmeekrek
4.16/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

did a tasting with 4 other bourbon barrel aged stout, and unbelievably this took 5th.we had such high hopes for this beer, yet when drink against the other beers that night it tasted very average. I don't know if we got a bad bottle somehow, but nothing stood out about this beer.for the record the other four beers were bells black note, Great Lakes Bourbon Barrel blackout, 2012 KBS, and central waters 15.

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Photo of cbeer88
4.3/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tasted blindly courtesy of Blind BIF #8. 12oz bottle poured into Delirium Tremens snifter…

Appearance: Inky black with a wispy tan head. Small amount of tan lacing.

Smell: Bourbon and roasted malts, a bit of coffee.

Taste: Bourbon bomb. Coffee, nutty, sweet, vanilla, chocolate, oak all there. Lot of heat coming off this guy from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Thick and full-bodied. Adequate carb.

Drinkability: A real sipper. Alcohol and heat are high.

Overall: Excellent bourbon stout, but could stand to get a bit of age for the heat to die down.

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

poured from bottle into founder snifter
had back to back with the regular version
and this one is much better
it is dark and not much head just like regular
although this smell is boozy maybe hint of chocolate on back end
and taste is similar although is extremely smooth maybe a touch of heat
slight lacing on this also
aftertaste is so good almost perfect would prefer this over the regular although both are amazing brews

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Photo of langchops
4.6/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into snifter

2012 Vintage

A - Pours a deep dark black body with little to no dark tan head. No light going through this one

S - A lot of vanilla and oak up front followed by dark fruit, mainly cherry with some chocolate notes mixed in

T- Follows the nose with great bourbon notes in the fruit and chocolate combo

M - Nice full body with ample coating, really a smooth drinker

O - Was really impressed by this one. Enjoyed the vanilla and fruit combo the entire sitting. I wish I had a few more of these to enjoy down road, really great stuff here!

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Photo of brentk56
4.13/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Vintage 2012

Appearance: Pours pitch black, with some brownish highlights on the edge; the head lays a film on top of the liquid and then fades to a ringlet while leaving a nice pattern of lacing around the chalice

Smell: Dark fruit, licorice, dark chocolate, citrus and some oak; not picking up much in the way of Bourbon

Taste: The dark fruit (prune, primarily), licorice and dark chocolate flavors dominate the front end with some citrusy hops appearing, in the middle; the Bourbon appears, after the swallow, adding oak and vanilla; chops more wood into the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with low to moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Overall: For what is currently #19 on the Top 250 list, I was expecting something a bit more than what I got; still, this beer is a solid Bourbon barrel RIS, just not an earth shatterer

Thanks, Tenchi221, for the opportunity

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Photo of BobZ
4.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to bstyle & benjaminahudson for the fact that I have (or had) two of these.

12oz. Bottle poured into a Huna snifter, 2012 vintage. Poured along-side a 2013 Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout and a 2013 KBS as part of a side-by-side tasting.

Appearance: Dark brown almost black with very little head that quickly dissipates to a small ring.

Smell: Roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, bourbon, and a sweetness that is like black licorice. Very nice and complex mixture of aromas.

Taste: This is one complex beer, the black licorice and molasses flavors meld very well with the mocha flavors from the malt. Next, you can taste the vanilla and the bourbon, just and incredible diversity of flavor very rich and very, very, delicious. The alcohol is completely masked.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy and smooth yet clean on the palate.

Overall: An exceptional BA stout in every way, very happy I had the chance to try this one.

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Photo of PerHops
3.68/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2012 Bottle into Snifter.

A- Jet black with a little bit of carbonation at the end of pour. The head is thin and tan but the retention is beautiful. This is a 100 percent perfect looking bb stout.

S- There is bourbon, roasty notes, oak and a slight damp funk at the end. Not quite what I was hoping for and not what I remember.

T- I dont pick up any funk like I did on the nose, but again slightly dissappointing. I get dark fruits, a little bitter chocolate, a little bourbon, but it has a light finish with red wine characters. A little astringent.

M- Starts off slightly syrupy but finishes pretty light and moderate carbonation.

O- To be honest this beer isn't quite what I remember it being. I am going to sit on my other too and hope they mellow out and evolve a little bit.

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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 tbdkev
4.14/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, motor oil color with some tan lacing. The aroma leaves something to be desired. Although the normal constituents of bourbon are present on the nose (i.e. vanilla, oak, etc.). There's a faint "saltwater" aroma as well, which is a little disconcerting. The taste follows the standard bourbon profile, with big burned elements and a heavy alcohol warmth throughout. The mouthfeel is pleasant, although I wish it was slightly thicker. The finish leaves something to be desired, as the big flavors from the initial taste disappear rather quickly, leaving only the burn. A solid brew from Dark Horse, but I'm a little let down.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
4.27/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2012 bottle from Jim M. Thanks! Poured into my LA Teku.

A: Pours in an inky, almost treacly manner to the glass. Fills up with a solid dark mocha head which fades quickly. Some carbonation bubbles are disturbing the surface of this black puddle. Legs are thick, thick, thick.

N: Hearty bourbon with a big chocolate and espresso background. Vanilla and caramel and oak. Coconut and more fudge. Brown sugar and some molasses. Big sweet sugars here. Some rye and oatmeal.

T: Very, very sweet. Bourbon appropriates the top level here and adds a sweet sting on top of a very pronounced sweet malt body. There’s a little bit of earth, pine and spice from what I assume are the hops and there’s some additional roast. This has some surprising balance, though it’s still a heavy confection. Does have a salty soy sauce aspect.

M: Super boozy, but it’s got a wonderfully filling mouthfeel. Other RIS’s should pay attention to this aspect, it’s the best I’ve had outside Apple Brandy Hunahpu’s.

O: I wish I had split this bottle because it’s absolutely going to sit in my stomach, but at the same time, I don’t think I’m going to get sick of it. This might get a few more points if it turned down the bourbon heat, but at the same time, it’s done an excellent job of making both the bourbon and the stout distinct, so what else can you want?

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Photo of Ahappyhiker2
3.96/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

2011 vintage.

A- Poured dark and thick, black in color. Barely any head or noticeable carbonation. Dark brown lacing.

S- Bourbon, vanilla, coconut, some booze on the nose as well. The smell is sweet, I don't get as much chocolate or bitterness that I got when I had this fresh. The aroma is mostly bourbon and vanilla.

T- Bitter on the tongue as it goes down, and has a dominant coffee flavor. It's so much different from when I had it fresh. I remember tons of bourbon in the taste, and I'm honestly barely getting any. There is some vanilla in the aftertaste, but it's predominantly coffee and a bitter dark chocolate flavor throughout. Reminds me of KBS.

M- Could use a little more carbonation, but it's nice and thick.

O- More than I could say I'm disappointed, I'm just so surprised. This is the same exact beer I had fresh 2 years ago, and it's completely different. It's a little sweeter which I expected, but it has so much more coffee presence and so much less bourbon. It really reminds me of KBS, which is not a bad thing at all but the first time I had it it reminded me of Parabola. I'm putting this one down as a beer not worth aging. It's delicious in its own right still, but I enjoyed it so much more fresh. Still a solid barrel-aged offering from Dark Horse, and one of the better barrel-aged stouts floating around in my opinion. For those of you that are aging a few: drink them.

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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.

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Photo of beerpirates
4.21/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into my CBS snifter

A: Opaque dark, deep black with no light getting through this. 2 finger brown head which fades quickly into a thin collar and some wandering, appealing laces.

S: Smell is of dark chocolate, bourbon, oak, vanilla. Huge! A smooth smoky and nutty scent along with some dark fruits and a bit of alcohol follow.

T: Massive dark chocolate, sweet and roasted malts. Bourbon, vanilla very well blended to this malty profile. The upcoming booze brings dark fruits aroma. Finishes on nutty and resinous hops notes.

M: Full bodied, sweet, creamy, a bit chewy but not sticky. Not as warming as one could expect given the ABV. Easily drinkable. Just perfect!

O: A beautiful barrel aged stout. Smell and taste profiles are huge, massive. But this is so easy to drink, so good !

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.99/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into my trusty pint glass. Dark brown to black color. Tastes of caramel and chocolate. The strong taste left me wanting more and more. The smell of Chocolate always means and wonderful tasting beer. Dark Horse has out done themselves with this one. One of the best this company has.

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Photo of Cvescalante
4.79/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A- Bottle poured into a tulip, black, opaque, tall brown head leaves nice lacing.

S- Oak, vanilla, dark fruits, dark chocolate, some licorice

T- Follows the nose, very roasty, lots of dark chocolate, dark fruit, licorice, and a warm bourbon finish

M- Thick and smooth, warm, always left wanting more

O- This is a fantastic beer. Definitely among my favorite barrel aged imperial stouts, and one of my favorite beers in general. I hope to try this again sometime. The beer I've tried from Dark Horse never ceases to impress me.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown-black with thin finger of frothy chocolate head. Fades fairly quickly.

S - Sweet roasted chocolate and caramel malts, oak, vanilla, Bourbon, molasses, black licorice, some booze.

T - Sweet roasted chocolate and caramel malts, oak, vanilla, Bourbon, black licorice, molasses, dark chocolate, coffee, earthy hops, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with mild carbonation. Smooth and fairly thick with a sweet and warming finish.

D - Great barrel aged imperial stout. Super smooth and rich.

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Photo of chalsk
4.75/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle in celebration of Radiohead. A great gift from Damico. Pours a black color with a soapy caramel colored head. Heavy alcohol, vanilla, and oak. Some chocolate and caramel notes. Sweet vanilla taste with that oak bite and creamy chocolate finish. Wow. What a beer.

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Photo of zipper8650
4.51/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

the 1st "Good Beer Sunday" review drinking down the cellar, special thank you to woodchopper for throwing this one in as an extra, 2012 in snifter
A - pours a jet black, little bit of a mocha colored head that faded quickly
S - very smooth smell, well balanced mocha/coffee/hot boozy smell but the booze balances well
T - intial flavor is a smooth well made creamed coffee taste, I find too many BA Stouts have a more bitter burnt coffee taste, not this one, very smooth. The end note is a little hot, to be expected but again balanced well
M - great mouthfeel, nice and heavy
O - overall this is a really well made, well balanced smooth drinking BA RIS, I prefer this over a new KBS. If I have not said it enough, smooth and balanced!
Skol

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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.

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

the beer pours a jet black with a thin tan halo of tan head...rather ominous looking. the nose is slightly boozy, with intensely earthy chocolate/coffee, and bourbon vanilla. the taste is also intense with caramel upfront, burning booze, lingering milk chocolate and a touch of bitterness. the mouhfeel is definitely thick, full bodied and flavorful. The roasty lingering chocolate aftertaste has a subtle hint of bourbon, but blends well. This is a world class BBA stout that drinks super smooth...tasty

Round 2 updates - 2012 vintage consumed 07/2014
minimal head, masked booze when cold - but still big bourbon notes, silky smooth mouthfeel, a little more coconut than before. This beer has aged very well.

Round 3 - 2013 vintage consumed 07/2014
really similar experience -- went in it with higher expectations and feel as though the 2012 was a bit smoother. Surprisingly I get more oxidation from this beer than the 2012

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

Poured from a bottle into a large wine glass

A - black black black. Aggressive pour produces only a small amount of light brown head, which dissipates very quickly into some whisps on top. No lacing.

S - smells mainly of bourbon and oak, some chocolate, booze, vanilla.

T - big blast of smooth vanilla, bourbon, oak up front. Some chocolate notes on the edge, vanilla and hop bittering at the end. Leaves an after taste of vanilla and bourbon. A damn tasty barrel aged stout!

M - it's a bit thinner than I would like. Starts out a little high on the carb, but as it warms the carb settles down. Last third of the pour was very nice.

O - an absolutely fantastic beer. Maybe the best BA stout I've ever tried. If it were a little thicker, it would be perfect. A+, no question.

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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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