Dueling Review #2 Dark Horse “Plead the 5th” Imperial Stout


OK, my turn to review this beer.  Looking forward to seeing how similar Jim and I found it to be.  The label doesn’t really tell the story of this beer, the fifth in the series of stouts from Dark Horse, and once again, it’s a missed opportunity in my book.  I realize I may be alone on this one, but I do wonder why when you put so much thought and love into your beer the label is an afterthought.  I guess when I open my brewery each bottle will come with a 46-page booklet.  I’m sure that won’t hit my margins at all.

On to the beer:  This stuff pours like motor oil.  Thick, viscous, and black as the ace of spades.  I wasn’t able to get much of a head on it, but since I’ve only got one, I didn’t want to screw it up, either.  What little foam I did get on pouring vanished quickly.

I didn’t pick up all that much on the nose, TBH.  Some chocolate malts and wood tones.  Very difficult to pick them out though. HOWEVER…the lack of strong aromas or foamy froth lulled me to sleep, and I wasn’t expecting the monster lurking beneath the surface of this beer.  

Wow.  It is intense.  

A huge, luxuriant mouth feel, with tiny, pointed carbonation and just a creamy, delicious experience from start to finish.  Dark chocolate (a little bitter but in a good way), coffee, caramel, a hint of vanilla, with the alcohol struggling to penetrate that massive wall of taste.  Aftertaste was non-existent beyond a hint of coffee.  I was only able to get my hands on one stout today for International Stout Day, but this was a great one and only.  Thanks to Jim for sharing this with me.

Taste:  A  It’s big, it’s smooth as silk, it’s everything an imperial stout should be.  About the only thing you could possibly ding it on IMO is the sweetness; this is more of a dessert, sipping beer.  

Drinkability:  C  One and done with this stuff, I think.  It’s decadent in a good way.  

Vitals:  12.0 % ABV, poured into my Movember pint glass at around 50F.  

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