Thursday, April 24, 2014

Dark Horse Brewing Company - Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead the 5th

For the past few weeks, I've been brewing my first stout. I tasted it for the first time yesterday, and I can say (with relief) that it's tasting pretty solid. But the process has also gave me a ton of respect for breweries who have really nailed this style. Coincidentally, I also tried another stout for the first time yesterday: A pretty highly regarded little number from a brewery in Michigan called Dark Horse.

When I first got into beer, I remember seeing a beer called Bourbon Barrel Plead the 5th on I had never heard of the brewery and I had never seen the beer, but the review scores on it were insanely high. Almost four years later, Bourbon Barrel Plead the 5th is in the same place. Even with over 1500 reviews now and the coming and going of a ton of beer fads and trends, it's remained way up the list. Thanks to my friend, Tyler, I finally got the chance to see what the hype on this one was about. At #32, Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead the 5th.

Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead the 5th pours a viscous black color with a thin mocha colored head. The head doesn't last long, disappearing into the beer quickly, like it just told an inappropriate joke at a party. The smell didn't blow me away with intensity, but the depth was pretty amazing. Upfront, you get some rich dark chocolate, espresso and coconut. Behind that, there's some toffee, marzipan, chocolate covered cherry and just a trace of bourbon.

The bourbon's pretty minimal in the smell, but it's one of the first things you're met with on your first sip. Dark chocolate cozies up with the bourbon upfront, then those flavors fade into some roasted malt, espresso, toffee, light barrel char and fudge. The finish brings a touch of milk chocolate sweetness before a final push of bourbon rounds things out. There are a lot of aggressive flavors here, but somehow they are all getting along really nicely. Everything just kind of melds together seamlessly. It's one of the best executed barrel aged stouts I've ever had.  A huge thanks to Tyler for giving me the chance to finally try this one.

Final Grade: A

Top 250 Beers Tasted: 135

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