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
Reviews:
434
Ratings:
3,101
Avg:
4.48
pDev:
7.59%
 
 
Wants:
2,141
Gots:
862
For Trade:
114
User Reviews
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Reviews: 434 | Ratings: 3,101
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.

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Photo of rypkr
4.2/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2015 poured into a snifter. Inky and frothy with little head.

Smells has me concerned. There's a very, very evident sour green apple smell I'm picking up. Mild bourbon, no roast, lots of candied sugar.

Taste like watery acidic nothing. This is nothing like the base beer. Something is very wrong here. It's mostly flat which is perplexing given that it's only a year old and wax sealed. This is clearly a botched bottled. I traded for this and gave no idea the history of how it was stored etc but this is a sad, sad drain pour.

--------------------------

2-16-17 new review. Very eager to retry this.

This time it's a draft pour. 1 hour old it was poured to a 16oz mason jar growler. From there it was poured into a snifter at home.

Dark coca cola inky body, lots of frothy khaki head. Sticky, sugary lacing. (Appearance bumped to 4.25 from 4)

Smells heavily of dark fruit and molasses. Lots of carmel,vanilla and oak. Bourbon comes through just right, not too strong and well meddled in. Still getting something faint along the lines of a granny smith apple. (Smell bumped to 4.25 from 2)

Tastes roasty and sweet at the same time. Lots of cream, lots of vanilla cues. More char than I recall from the base beer strangely. Bourbon isnt that prominent in flavor. (Taste bumped to 4.0 from 2.0)

Mouthfeel is awesome. It's creamier than most oatmeal stouts. It's very, very mild on the carbonation and heavy in body. Also quite dry. (Feel bumped to 4.75 from 1.5)

Overall. A much better experience. Very good beer, but after all the bb stouts I've had over the last few years I'm honestly not sure this is among the best of them. It's good, but not awesome like I wanted it to be. (Overall score bumped to 4.25 from 1)

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Photo of pagriley
4.19/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Re-visiting after being seriously underwhelmed the first time

L - pours almost jet black with a thin ring of mocha foam
S - Prominent bourbon on the nose with hints of coconut and chocolate
T - richer than I remember from last time with chocolate, hints of smoke and a ton of bourbon. Lots of ash on the finish - a bit too much black patent malt for my preference.
F - On the thinner side for the style. Wish this had more heft and chew to balance the astringent ash

Overall much better the 2nd time around, but still not quite what I would hope. Fresh is way better, but the ashy black malt on the finish is a bit jarring

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
1.36/5  rDev -69.6%
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.

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Photo of nataku00
4.55/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 2012 bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours very dark brown, bordering on black, with a half a finger of thin light brown head. Head dissipates immediately to a thin collar and a few patches of lacing, but plenty of alcohol legs on the glass surface.

Nose is big on bourbon, charred oak, toasted nuts, vanilla combined with fruity dark chocolate, freshly brewed espresso, roasted malt, burnt sugar. Even straight out of the fridge, the aromas are huge.

Taste started with a touch of bitter hops, burnt sugar, then lightly bitter dark roasted espresso and roasted malt, lightly smoky, before mellowing into sweeter dark chocolate and caramel. Bourbon flavors flourish on the finish, along with the dark chocolate.

Full bodied, thick and creamy with some soft barely there carbonation. Very sticky on the lips so a bit of residual sugar. A very good imperial stout.

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Photo of cvm4
4.05/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2014 vintage

L - Has that motor oil pour and deep, black body with a minimal medium tan head.

S - Rich aroma of caramel, vanilla, oak, bourbon and roasted malts.

T - Roasted malts that develop into a sweet bourbon through the middle and a coffee as well as light charred oak ending.

F - Medium bodied with low carbonation. Has a smooth mouthfeel. The body could be a bit thicker &/or chewier.

O - A legit BBA RIS. Glad I got to try it and wouldn't turn down another.

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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.

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Photo of pjkelley82
4.81/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Review #500....

Wow... started on this site in may of 2013 and probably had a total of 50 beers craft and big brew before starting my journey into craft... number 500 is a good one...

Thanks Jas45678.... poured from bottle into Teku glass... split with a friend to give hime an opportunity to try a rare brew ..

Standard looking barrel aged stout. Black brown with a thin mocha colored head, not to watery, not like pouring oil. Nice ring left around, thin skin, sparse lacing and some legs as its swirlled around.

Smell was soft bourbon, chocolate, fudge, chocolate covered espresso bean, slight vanilla and toast, nice tobacco and dark fruits thrown in..

Taste was coffee fudge in the front, with a roast and malt taste coming thru with slight tobacco and vanilla. Bourbon is so sweet and delisious but its dialed back. Usually thats the first thing I pick up but this one is nice and subdued and plays a back up tole like it should. Slight toffee of butterscotch with a nice sweet finish and bitterness to compliment.

Very nice feel from the brew. Not too heavy, not too sticky but definitely can call this one a barrel aged stout all day. Very light carnonation standard finish.

Overall I had high expectations for this brew and it didn't disappoint. I kind of knew it would be damn good and it was. The base beer was great and they complimented it with a good barrel addition that didn't take away but stood out on its own. Very pleased with this brew and glad I have more.

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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 pokesbeerdude
4.55/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage courtesy of waltersrj. 12oz bottle into a Stone IRS snifter.

A: Pours pitch black with a tan head that foams up to about half an inch and quickly disappears just as fast it shows up leaving a small island of bubbles in the middle of the glass. No lacing to speak of. Completely opaque. So dark that the glass actually reflects like a mirror.

S: Bourbon, and a lot of it, damn. Neat bourbon, vanilla and oak. Nutty and slightly buttery as well. Lots of chocolate and a little bit of roast. Really reminds me of these chocolate bourbon balls that a lady I used to work with made around the holidays. The bourbon smell makes me think booze, but it isn't really boozy at all.

T: Impressive, chocolatey and vanilla meld together to make a massively sweet beer with undertones of chocolate, oak, and even a slight hop resin profile in there. Huge barrel character in this. Long oaky finish. This is an absolutely massive beer. Massive stout that has a ton of raw bourbon barrel flavor as well. Impressive.

M: Spot on, thick but not cloying, slight amount of warmth but not hot, and just the right amount of carbonation to make this velvety smooth. Excellent.

O: Thoroughly enjoyable, easily one of the best BA stouts that I've had. Tons of massive bourbon, but the stout shines enough to make it really interesting. Definitely a beer for whiskey lovers. Glad to try it!

Thanks Ryan!

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Photo of azdback
4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a small snifter. Ultra black color with not a hint of highlights. Head is almost non existent but does have a nice collar that is light brown colored and leaves just a bit of lace.

Smell is quite bourbon forward. Lots of vanilla, burnt wood, tart dark fruit. Definitely some alcohol. Very very nice!!

Taste is lots of roast, char, chocolate, vanilla, some mild tart cherries. Tons of booze but not unwelcome.

Body is viscous and rich, mouth is full with medium to mild carbonation. Finish is very long and wet.

Overall I was very impressed with this. I have had the base beer and enjoyed it but the barrel did an amazing job to this. Very smooth and rich barrel characters reminded me a lot of Parabola or Old Raspy XI. Possibly a bit better and more drinkable.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.57/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Uh whoa. That's the long and short of it. Into 25cl saison glass @ room temp thanks to my main man kzoobrew.

Pours low carbonation with a very dark brown head that's about a 1/2 finger. Considering the ABV, I'd say it looks damn good.

Aroma is intoxicating- I am swooning. Toasted oak, bourbon, vanilla and deep dark malt.

Taste... what can I say? This beer is hot and heavy. Lots of bourbon. The base holds up well, though, and the flavors meld. I think this is an improvement on an already great beer. Bourbon drinkers will appriciate this. The toasted oak and caramel/vanilla bourbon flavors do the base beer well. Already a rich stout, the barrels make it opulent.

This one is pretty hot- I really like it although I like hot beers. I think the bourbon is rather dominant but it's not over-reaching. Assertive without being overbearing.

Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good stuff. Thanks, kzoo.

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

A big thanks to jdhowe for sharing this recently. 2013 vintage. Note that as of this writing I have not tried the regular Plead the 5th yet, but I intend to crack it open eventually. Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

As expected, pours a thick syrup of a stout, with a treacle-like consistency that appears to end as sludge into the glass, save for some minor mocha-colored foam that shows yet gently dissipates throughout the course of consumption. Super viscous, oily, and resinous if I ever saw a stout of this caliber before - my favorite part was the tremendous amount of scattered shrapnel lacing that coated all sides of the glass every time that I would give this a good swirl. Normally extremely syrupy looking RIS offerings are not my favorite, but this one contains a bit of prowess and charm overall in its liqueur like properties. Very memorably intimidating.

Wow! That's an extremely sweet bourbon aged stout, but for reasons you'd perhaps least expect. Yes, there's some classic bourbon sweet notes of toffee, vanilla, and cinnamon at the back, but the front is chock filled with the sweetness of caramel soaked dark cherries, blackcurrant, and figs, as well as obvious notes of roasted chocolate, coffee, and molasses. Impressive barrel spices and non-fruit make up the mid flavor, releasing notes of licorice, tobacco, leather, and violets throughout. Very stimulating stuff, with the only major drawback being the high presence of booze throughout, notably stinging the nostrils at every whiff. Sweet, but pretty restrained. Still extremely complex and memorable, as this kinds of beers must be.

I expected a boozy, sweet, barrel laden RIS from the aroma, but instead after my first sip I came across, to my knowledge, the most balanced and perhaps easy-going offering of its kind. It's a big beer, no doubt, but doesn't make that clear throughout. Vivid, rich notes of fudge, chocolate nibs, caramel, and molasses sugar coat dark fruit notes (mainly of dark cherries and prunes) as the beer soon melts with many of the barrel spices mentioned earlier. Vanilla and toffee are obvious, but tobacco, leather, and pepper are also very present. Earthy and roasted, with some sweetness and fruitiness that makes it feel robust in character. Finishes medium-bodied, with a dry, bready flavor awash with spices and sweetness that cleanse the palate overall. Stupidly balanced, as far as the style goes - this provides the drinker with all the best aspects within it without one of them overpowering the other. If it weren't for the high booze, I could certainly have more of this in one evening.

This is an amazing beer, and absolutely worth checking out, but I enjoyed it for many surprisingly different reasons from what I'd initially heard. It's rich, robust, and contains all of the barrel characteristics I enjoy best in these beers, but it doesn't smack you upside the head doing it, which I enjoy. No clue how this would age, but it's pretty extraordinary fresh. Don't go too much out of your way to get some, but all fans of the style should have it at least once.

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Photo of mattboyer182
4.75/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - pours dark black and a vague tan head.

S - bourbon hits you in the face. Rich malts and apparent alcohol.

T - wow. Sweet intense bourbon. Great wood taste lies underneath.

M - heavy, rich body and light carbonation.

O - for sure the best out of these stouts. So sweet and delicious.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.19/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours black as night, as expected, with a small and chocolate brown head forming. The head is just a whisp of foam on the top of the beer, but it does leave a pretty good lace pattern.

S- Big and dark roasted malts hit the nose first, just like a good Russian imperial should. Next comes a bit of bourbon barrel spiciness. Oak and vanilla are the prominent barrel scents, with just a touch of the bourbon sneaking in. Towards the back end of the smell, it turns sweeter than most stouts, but then the dark malts return and leave you with traditional stout flavors on the nose.

T- Just like the smell, this beer starts with a bang of deep, dark malts. Slightly bitter dark chocolate and just a touch of coffee hit the tongue and lead you into the middle of the drink. The barrel spice moves in during the middle of the drink with a touch of vanilla and a bit of boozy bourbon. The barrel flavors mix in with the dark malts and form a fairly complex overall flavor. The beer leaves a somewhat bitter aftertaste on the tongue after the drink is finished.

M- The alcohol is evident a little bit while sipping this beer, but it really shines in how smooth it is. Low carbonation levels and a thick and heavy flavor profile make this somewhat of a slow drink. On the whole, this is a silky smooth, thick, and heavy beer that goes down smooth for its weight.

Overall, this beer is very, very good. The great dark malts with chocolate and coffee interact with the bourbon barrel very well without overpowering the malts or becoming to aggressive to be enjoyed. I like this beer.

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Photo of gcamparone
4.66/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Utopia glass. Thanks Keith for this baby!

A- Pours an oily black, opaque body with a modest mocha colored head that reduces slowly and leaves blotchy lacing.

S- Very inviting and upfront on the nose.. creamy vanilla and milk chocolate, soft bourbon, caramel, burnt marshmallows.

T- Wow.. this is amazing.. sweet vanilla and molasses, whiskey and milk chocolate upfront. The follow through is burnt coffee and dark chocolate. The finish leaves a delectable charred, nearly burn malt taste on the tongue. Very complex, very balanced.

M- Creamy and easy to drink. Rich, full of flavor. Low carbonation.

One of the best bourbon barrel aged stouts I've ever had, this one has the upper hand most others due to it's smooth, creamy, balanced character and rich, bold flavor.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.81/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter; 2014 vintage.
Shared with a craft beer noob…and blew his mind (his brains are still on my ceiling)!
Thanks to I_BYE_MI_BEER for the bottle.

A: Pours “…darker'n a black steer's tookus on a moonless prairie night.” Billows up to one finger of creamy, thick mocha head that dissipated relatively quickly, settling to a persistent, creamy collar and leaving no lacing.

S: A massive nose; big bourbon boozy nose with some hot alcohol; dark roasted malts, cocoa nibs, and some subtle vanilla sweetness.

T: Wow, a really complex profile that starts with thick, rich dark roasted malts, dark chocolate and boozy bourbon. The dark fruits (dates, raisins, prunes), tobacco and sweet malt fill out the palate with subtle vanilla and toffee notes coming out. The finish is long and dries out a bit with some bittering hops and espresso char.

M: Medium-heavy body and low carbonation make it smooth, creamy and rich but not cloying.

O: This is one of the best BBA stouts I have ever had. I loved it…and wished I didn’t share it ;-)

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

Bottle of the 2011 vintage poured into my snifter.

A: Jet black with a mocha colored head that did not stay for long.
S: Roasty malts, chocolate, bourbon. Slight scent of coffee.
T: Chocolate, oak, bourbon, caramel, vanilla. Surprisingly drinkable for a 14% stout. Nice dark chocolate aftertaste lingers in the mouth.
M: Medium to full body, thick and creamy. Great medium carbonation and absolutely no alcohol burn. Excellent for the style.
O: Excellent beer. One of my favorite barrel aged stouts to date.

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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.

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Photo of BostonHops
4.69/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle served in a snifter.
2011 vintage.

pours the customary used motor oil black; a fairly aggressive pour yields an expected short lived mocha / almost cinnamon tone head.

assertive nose offers a wallop of bourbon right out of the gate, which is followed by chocolate and roasted malt characters; secondary notes of vanilla, molasses, and a subtle dark fruit-like presence.

flavor follows the nose pretty closely. make no mistake, this one is a bourbon bomb (which i live for), but the bourbon doesn't overwhelm the other elements. the chocolate, roastiness, vanilla et al pull through in fine form. delicious. full bodied mouthfeel, velvety more than chewy if that makes sense. some heat but not what you'd expect from a 14% monster.

overall, a stellar imperial stout. almost unfair to lump some of these barrel-aged beers in with the general population, but this one stands out even among other barrel aged brews. if you're fortunate enough to come across it, don't hesitate.

(originally reviewed: 01-18-2012)

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Photo of tlema1
4.38/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: jet black, thin tan lacing head
S: roasty malts, coffee, and vanilla
T: vanilla, coffee, roasted malts, slightl bourbon
F: smooth, all of the mouthfeel is upfront
O: this beer is 2 years old, and really tasty, the booze has softened, but it's noticeable

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Photo of cnbrown313
4.88/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been looking for this beer for the last couple years now and BA mia4ipa was kind enough to share one with me. Poured from a 12oz wax sealed bottle into mini pint glasses. Served at just below room temperature.

A - Pours out like thick, black motor oil with little to no head. Super-viscous. This has the classic look for a big, barrel aged imperial stout. Looking good...

S - I was expecting a huge bourbon smell, but it's not over powering. Hints of bourbon, oak, dark chocolate and fudge.

T - Upon taking a sip, the initial notes are chocolate, toffee, and bourbon. There's just the right level of sweetness without being cloying, which is balanced by that nice bourbon barrel flavor, and a little bitterness at the end. This is one of the tastiest stouts I've ever had. It was surprisingly drinkable at 14% ABV too.

M - The mouthfeel was perfect for the style. It was slightly thick and chewy, but really enjoyable to sip on.

O - Probably one of my favorite barrel aged stouts. The bourbon wasn't as pronounced as it is in something like BCS, but this seemed much more balanced and enjoyable to drink. I wish I had more...

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

HUGE thanks to raymo55 for this bomb brew!

Poured from a silver waxed, 2011 vintage bottle into a snifter.

Pours a thick as hell, black as hell, viscous liquid that settles and sits like a tar pit. I'm talkin' zero light transfer. There is less than a fingers worth of orange tinted, tan head. Not much lace but a few spots.

The nose has some complex bourbon notes such as toasted coconut, and vanilla while mixed in the the base brews chocolaty characteristics. Boozy in the end. Wow.

The taste is toasted oak and coconut with a nice amount of bourbon that isn't in-your-face. However, the bourbon shows it's glorious attributes with ease. The base beer still shows through the barrel treatment. There is some chocolate, leather, and tobacco working with the bourbon. There are some firm tannins and oak flavors when aggressively sloshed within my mouth.

Hidden ABV + Drinkability = Awesome

The mouthfeel is what I love about these Plead brews. Velvety smooth with a silk-like feel against my palate. A nice, low amount of carbonation helps this feel become successful.

Overall, totally awesome, great brew that deserves the hype. This is because of a great balance and a nicely hidden ABV. The durability of the base brew was easily withstandable when put into a barrel. Bravo, once again!

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Photo of Stevem68
4.29/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a motor oil black color with thin mocha head. Aroma is lightly sweet roasted malts. Flavor is candied dark fruit and semi sweet.has notes of roasted chocolate malts and the bourbon is really mellow. Has a rich body and overall really delicious.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.52/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Gray waxed 12 oz. bottle chilled and poured into a Cigar City snifter glass. 2012 vintage with an ABV listed 11%. With the huge amount of snowfall, a barrel aged imperial stout seemed like the way to go.

Appearance: As close to midnight black as possible. Pours a one finger dark brown head that quickly recedes into a light lacing.

Aroma: Really surprisingly good balance in the nose for 11%. Lots of chocolate fudge, dark fruit, vanilla and bourbon. The alcohol is there and isn't hidden at all, but it works really well.

Taste: Big sweet chocolate fudge tones with really strong bourbon barrel tones. Big caramel, vanilla, oak and bourbon throughout. The barrel is very well integrated with the base. There is a touch of booziness but it works well with this kind of beer. I really like the dark fruit tones that incorporate even more sweetness into the beer. Really tasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied overall, but a little light for the style. Goes down very smooth.

Overall, a top tier barrel aged stout. It is a bit big and boozy at times, but I really like the big, sweet characteristics of this beer. The barrel is incredibly well integrated and really enhances the base beer. I remember not really loving this base beer, but the barrel makes this one of the best in this style.

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Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th from Dark Horse Brewing Company
4.48 out of 5 based on 3,101 ratings.
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