Ok so a quick backstory to my tawdry affair with this (spoiler alert) completely amazing stout. I originally traded and tried to land one of the 50 some bottles from the initial release and failed horribly. Later, I traded and landed an entire 4 pack of these bottles and kept swearing to myself that I needed to review this top 100 stout. The problem was, each time after I drank this 15% abv bottle, I just became a sleep jeep and couldn’t be bothered to record my flawed impressions. This bottle is from my buddy, Bear, so here’s a final bite at the apple, let’s see if I can actually complete this one.
Dark Horse Brewing Company, Plead the 5th Bourbon Barrel Aged, 15% abv
THIS IS ONE OF MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE STOUTS SO TODAY IS A DOUBLE MEME DAY
A: Well all is quiet on this eastern front. Theres a fantastic cosmos of bubbles that forms on the surface and lets you know that you are dealing with a complex, vengeful beer that operates under its own moral code. Just look up there, the chocolate and bourbon practically spontaneously combust and set the surface on fire with rage. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
S: Holy hell this beer smells amazing. There’s a deep chocolate frosting aspect, with a faint milkiness on the backend like 85% cacao mixed with creme, some butterscotch and molasses toffee, finally a hot bourbon note closed the gates and declares the war a victory. A victory indeed. Every time that I open a bottle of this I remember anew how amazing it is. It is thoroughly fantastic on the nose, guess what (spoiler alert) the taste is amazing too-
T: Initially there’s a nice coffee dryness like hopping into the dry leather saddle with Juan Valdez and his trusty burro. He hands you some cacao nibs to chew on and your ruminate over the New Mexico landscape and wonder how you had strayed so far from South America, he took another swig of Elijah Craig bourbon and you realize that he is less a coffee horticulurist and more a nomadic vagrant. The chocolate and coffee give this finish similar to a mocha that has been spiked with some Pappy Van Winkle. I always toss around the “top 5” and “lifetime achievement” awards with capricious infidelity, but seriously, this beer is amazing.
M: The mouthfeel doesn’t take up more space than is needed in the overhead compartment, just pure ass beatings delivered with alarming efficiency. This imparts a huge dirty bomb of swift chocolate and bourbon and then is gone before you even know what organization imparted this efficient terrorism. All you know is that, from the destruction comes order, and the San Francisco earthquake may have ruined everyone’s shit, but it was rebuilt stronger and more solid in constitution as a result. TL;DR drink this beer to be stronger, funnier, and more impressive with the ladies [FN1 citation needed]
D: This is exceptionally drinkable, that is all there is to it, and god damn is it scary as a result. At least they had the sense to ratchet it back to a 12oz serving. It is strange, like how in Trainspotting you see everyone getting destroyed by heroin but they just want more, that’s this beer. You just want more of it and it puts your ass to bed like a swift choke hold. Great now I have to try and put together a coherent, clever narrative to sum up the joie de vivre of this beer after punishing myself with that crazy abv.
Narrative: Licorice Miter was an ebony beauty, a beauty full of a murderous rage. Generations of powerful equine lineage had developed the fastest, yet the most rage filled horse that man had ever seen. To enrage the pituitary gland, its owner would get chocolate wasted and come taunt the horse with re-runs of Step by Step. The mere smell of a Mint Julep was sufficient to send the horse into a rage. It was deep, dark, and powerfully aware of the torque that it imparted into the loose soil. Miter never lost a single race and never allowed a single penance for the transgressions suffered at the hands of others. Through its own rueful disposition, it learned to harness the rage of the horse condition into an awareness of the future and the futility of the present. The taunting and whipping of the tiny pilot amused Licorice in a manner that seemed fitting for such a self-aware horse, the darkest horse, harboring the deepest rage, accomplishing the greatest feats.