May 15, 2014

Dark Horse Plead the 5th

I’ve had a few Dark Horse brews throughout the years. Few have been quite tasty (Crooked Tree IPA) while most have been fairly middle of the road in terms of flavor and balance. The company’s Plead The 5th, a Russian Imperial Stout weighing in at 11% ABV, is not middle of the road. It’s a big beer with big flavors.

I first caught wind of this brew earlier in the year and recently had the opportunity to procure a single 12 ounce bottle (damn these purchase limits) for personal consumption. The bottle set in the basement for a few weeks before I decided it was time to crack it open. The online hype surrounding it’s release was a bit too much when I initially purchased the bottle, so I set it aside to let the initial fervor fade.

As far as the beer goes, roast coffee and espresso flavors dominate throughout. Plead The 5th is deceptively smooth and easily the best product from the brewery that I have had thus far. I’m just not all that sure it’s deserving of the “one bottle per customer” purchase limit.

Dark Horse Plead the 5th photo


The brew pours like an oil slick with one of the darkest, albeit shortest-lived, caps of foam I’ve seen.


This isn’t a knock, but it smells pretty standard for the style. Dark, roast coffee, hints of chocolate, soft char, distant licorice and maybe a light presence of oats. There’s no hint of the higher alcohol level to be found.


Please The 5th is a pretty darn good beer. It reminds me of Siberian Nights, but with an earthier character. Hints of tobacco accompany the dominant espresso and roast malt presence. Light chocolate is in the mix along with hints of vanilla and licorice. There’s a soft bitterness that lingers gently in the semi-dry and lasting finish. Again, the brewery has done well to mask the elevated alcohol.


All in all, Plead The 5th is an excellent Russian Imperial Stout. It’s the best beer from the brewery that I’ve had thus far. I still don’t think it’s quite worthy for such limited purchase scenarios, but kudos to Dark Horse for producing a damn tasty beer.

Rating: 4.25/5

More: , ,