Tag Archives: Dark Horse

Brew Review: Plead the 5th

9 May

Brew: Plead the 5th

Brewed by: Dark Horse (Marshall, MI)

Style: Imperial Stout (12.0% ABV)

Another imperial stout to add to the books, I went on sort of a bender of stouts for a while so you can expect that to be a trend here for a bit. The Plead the 5th is Dark Horse’s version of the Imperial Stout category, it was also highly touted by a friend so I was excited to try it and once again didn’t put a whole lot of age on this bottle so when I drank it, the flavor was pretty fresh.

The Plead the 5th poured out a thick solid impenetrable black that no light escaped from. The kind of look you wish and hope for when you pour an Imperial Stout out of the bottle. There was also a great looking dark tan almost brown head that rose out of the depths of this brew as well that was welcome and just added to the perfect looking brew that greeted my eyes upon the initial pour.

The 5th also smelled wonderful. Big roasted aromas greeted me along with sweet caramel and dark chocolates. Molasses, caramel and lots of cocoa rose up to the nostrils along with a slight alcohol whiff. You could tell that this was going to be a thick dark rich complex brew when you tasted it, but the smell alone was something to take in and savor.

The taste followed suit with the appearance and the aroma, wonderfully complex and full of depth and character. The brew was thick syrupy but at the same time creamy and had a very pleasant feel to it in the mouth. Not a lot of hops that I could detect, I did let this one sit for a few months (unsure exactly how long, I need to start keeping track of how long they age to really see how its developed) so the hops probably just melded into the overall onslaught of big roasty malts and grains. At the end of the sip there were rich roast coffee tastes mixed with chocolate and a little bit of booze. Made for a bit of a ‘warm’ finish but nothing to complain about because at 12% it would have been hard to mask all that alcohol.

A great beer with lots of layers and complex flavors and aromas. This is a beer that if you like stouts and big hearty beers to seek out and if you stumble upon one or two or more you should definitely snatch up.

Final grade: A


Brew Review: Double Crooked IPA

17 Aug

Brew: Double Crooked IPA

Brewed By: Dark Horse Brewing (Marshall, MI)

Style: Double/Imperial IPA (12.0% ABV)

A gift from a fellow beer lover in Chicago, this came to me a few weeks ago. Somewhat excited for this one as I hadn’t seen it on my local liquor store shelves before so I was glad to have something I couldn’t get on my own. I haven’t even had the Crooked IPA, so the not double one, before so I don’t really know what to expect for this.

It poured out a dark malty color with some red mixed in there. A deep amber if you wanted to go further. There was a fair amount of head on my glass because it got a little bumpy in the car when I was bringing this one home, my guess is that the abundant head is not normal. This is a fair amount darker than I was anticipating for something that claims to be 98 IBU’s and a double IPA, looked a little more like an amber or red ale.

The smell is a mix of hops and malts. There are obviously a ton of hops in this brew that is apparent right off the bat but the malts seem to steal the show overall, there is more sweetness to begin with and residually than I think I would have guessed or expected. There is some definite caramel and toffee smells coming off this beer.

The taste is a bit different, right off the bat there is a ton of bittering hops that take over your mouth. The pine and grassy hops are right there to greet you at the door, but after that initial hop bombing of your taste buds the malt sweetness comes in. I would have expected the hops to stand out on their own especially the way the sip started but the malts really begin to dominate after that first split second. There are lots of hops, they are very bitter that still left me yearning for more hops that would sort of clean up this hop mess that Dark Horse has created. It seems to be one big syrupy soupy hop mess that doesn’t or cant find its own character of being either a true hop bomb, like Hop Stoopid, or a malt forward IPA. The bitterness isn’t balanced and the malts seem to show up and stick out like a sore thumb with no particular place to be.

Final Grade: B