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Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Plead the 5th Imperial Stout

Serve in Snifter


on tap

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RATINGS: 449   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.17/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 420   ABV: 14%
This beer is a big and full bodied Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels with lots of roasted malts, but very balanced with heavy hops. Brewed with a top secret root, this beer has an amazingly complex flavor that you must wait for.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Crookedhammr (3) - - NOV 22, 2015 does not count
I know all you other "awesome sauce" beer buys will be able to pick out the chocolate, or cherries, or coffee. ....... I can’t. I just like beer. I like Imperial ale and Imperial Stout. And this for me is damn good beer! Only other one that I have had (to date) that is better is Againt the grain 70k. If you trip across this one please buy it.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
corby112 (2689) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 20, 2015
Pitch black and opaque with a one finger beige head that slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Very good retention for style and ABV, taking a while to settle and lingering throughout the pour. Sporadic streaks of soapy lacing left behind. Nice barrel presence in the nose that’s decently integrated into the base. Stronger oak/wood/toothpick than expected wih sweet, spicy bourbon silky vanilla and marshmallow. Not overly boozy however with complex barrel character not just a complete bourbon bomb. Sweet an roasted malts underneath with some robust coffee bean, oatmeal, dark chocolate and liquid smoke. Some dessert like sweetness with silkier, lighter chocolate, lactic cream, caramel, toffee and bakers chocolate. Pretty tame aroma but it’s complex and well rounded. Fuller end of medium body with a strong, boozy barrel character that’s nicely integrated into the flavors of the base beer. Again, there’s a strong charred oak/toothpick character along with prominent spicy bourbon and boozy heat dominating the flavor. Lots of spicy bourbon along with vanilla bean and mallow. A touch of cinnamon and spicy heat but not too hot or overbearing. Although there is plenty of alcohol flavor, the high ABV is relatively well masked. Underneath the strong barrel flavors, there is some robust, roasted dark malt notes with burnt sugar, coffee grinds and bitter dark chocolate complimenting the oak and spirit. Could use a bit more sweetness but this beer is nicely balanced and surprisingly easy to drink at 14%. The complexity of the barrel component adds depth of flavor making this beer very enjoyable.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ctipping (538) - Florida, USA - NOV 9, 2015
12 oz. bottle poured into a Kuhnhenn snifter. 2012 vintage. Originally reviewed 1/2/2013. Very think inky black pour with a small mocha head. Nothing left after a while. Just a thin collar and three measly and miniscule islands of foam. The barrel is very nice, but the aroma of the beer is intense. Bourbon, tons of oak, and a nice hint of vanilla from the barrel. Sweet malts, licorice. Coffee and dark chocolate are afterthoughts compared to the barrel, booze, and sugars. In the taste, the base beer shines through the barrel, but it adds a nice layer. Bourbon is immediately apparent. Deep dark chocolate flavors and a sweet fruit layer. Oak is really intense in the back. Lingering oaky finish is too strong and just pegs it back from perfect. It’s heavy, boozy, and overly oaked. Low carbonation. A monster of a beer. While this beer is spectacular, the barrel hasn’t improved it. Intense oak creates an unpleasant aftertaste. That being said, I had this on tap and it was incredible. Batch to batch may vary. I certainly won’t mind exploring different vintages of this.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Tsekouratos (560) - Nea Filadelfeia, Athens, GREECE - OCT 25, 2015
Black body with a brown head. Aroma is bourbon, vanilla, chocolate. Taste is similar and sweet, with bourbon, vanilla, roasted, chocolate, maybe some caramel. Full body with low to medium carbonation.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 19/20
Savage_Night (243) - California, USA - SEP 27, 2015
Pours black with a small light brown head. Head retention is poor. AROMA: rich dark roasted malts, dark bitter chocolate, coffee, caramel, oak char, roasted nuts, herbs, herbal hops, alcohol, butterscotch, toffee, slight earthy funk, raisin, slight citrus, soy sauce, dark stone fruit, vanilla, banana, smoke, floral, peppercorn, spices, molasses, burned brown sugar, pine bitterness, dry chili, dates and bourbon notes. TASTE: rich dark roasted malts, dark bitter chocolate, bitter coffee oil, caramel, oak char, roasted nuts, herbs, hops spice, alcohol, butterscotch, toffee, slight earthy funk, creamy, raisin, soy sauce, dark stone fruit, vanilla, smoke, floral, peppercorn, spices, molasses, burned brown sugar, banana, pine bitterness, dry chili, dates, slight citrusand bourbon notes. AFTER TASTE: bourbon, caramel, vanilla, peppercorn, molasses and dark rich malt with a creamy buttery finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Whatup14 (1209) - Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, CANADA - SEP 17, 2015
Bouteille 355ml, 2014, gracieuseté de tom10101, merci Tommy! Couleur noire opaque, mousse moka foncée riche et crémeuse laissant une belle dentelle. Arôme de boisé, Bourbon, alcool, malt torréfié, noix, chocolat. Goût de malt torréfié, Bourbon, chocolat noir, café en arrière-goût. Carbonatation moyenne-faible, corps dense, collante.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
FlandersNed (369) - , Indiana, USA - SEP 6, 2015
UPDATED: SEP 7, 2015 12oz bottle. Opaque dark brown hue, moderate, light brown foam. Bourbon, chocolate, oak, ripe banana, caramel, turbinado sugar, coconut and vanilla notes - nicely complex, yet drinkable. Full body and moderate carbonation.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
VsXsV (3115) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - AUG 29, 2015
Bottle. Long time want. Thanks hackobock! Opaque black liquid with medium tan head. Aroma of licorice, coconut, chocolate, coffee, light vanilla and light wood. Taste is medium sweet and light bitter with notes of chocolate, coffee, bourbon, vanilla and wood. Full bodied with low to medium carbonation. Pretty nice, but the bourbon character isn’t super pronounced.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
mike_77 (4317) - Breda, NETHERLANDS - AUG 25, 2015
Very thick and rich tasting. Lots of vanilla and bourbon whiskey. A hint of fresh tobacco too. Thanks to Martinus for the sample!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Martinus (4280) - Baarle-Nassau, NETHERLANDS - AUG 23, 2015
Black, tan head. Aroma of Bourbon, vanilla, caramel, wood, banana, chocolate. Sweet flavour, vanilla, Bourbon, chocolate, caramel and soy sauce. Quite boozy. Finish malts, caramel, wood, Bourbon, vanilla and soy sauce.
(from 35.5cL bottle shared @ De VIP School Gent, GBF 2015. Bronze Wax. From trade. Thanks for muling the beers for me, Eugene. Cheers!)

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