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

BA SCORE
99
world-class
3,123 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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:
3,123
Reviews:
436
Avg:
4.48
pDev:
7.59%
 
 
Wants:
2,146
Gots:
863
For Trade:
113
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,123 |  Reviews: 436
Photo of Warren2621
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of KevBot89
4.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of donovansill
4.14/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Bob402
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of lochef81
4.49/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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 AdamSteve
4.65/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of Farnswurth
3.8/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of peacemakers48
4.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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 tgates
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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 rderedin
3.45/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Photo of xtonytx
4.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of robertjskelton
4.61/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of MNBeer1017
4.24/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Willyd81
4.07/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of erjaq
3.97/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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 neutralaction
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Deltoro
3.14/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

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

Photo of rarapacz
4.36/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
4.48 out of 5 based on 3,123 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe