Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #5 - Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #5Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #5

Educational use only; do not reuse.

185 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 185
Reviews: 139
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.91%
Wants: 110
Gots: 15 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Saint Arnold Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TexIndy on 08-14-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 185 | Reviews: 139
Reviews by Pegasus:
Photo of Pegasus
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep shimmering obsidian in color, with a large and quite persistent dark caramel head.

Aroma: Profound notes of bitter cocoa and unsweetened chocolate, with lesser notes of wood and vanilla.

Taste: Strong notes of dark roasted malt at the open, followed by intensely bitter, earthy cocoa and charred malt. Finishes dry, with a moderately strong and lingering herbal and citrus hop note.

Mouth feel: Smooth and full, very rich, almost cappuccino-like in fullness.

Drinkability/notes: Simply extraordinary in its quality, in a way that mere words fail to justify. This beer is well-worthy of the effort and expense that will likely be required to secure a bottle.

Sampled on tap at The Draught House in Austin, Texas.

More User Reviews:
Photo of hopsleeroy
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Gingerman in Austin as a 1/2 pint. I feel lucky to get it on tap as I heard in only lasted about 8 weeks. Pour was jet black (although the bar was fairly dark-maybe a hint of red in there). Small white capped head with good lacing. Smell was roasted coffee and chocolate. The smell matched perfectly and went down easy. This brew filled up your mouth and lingered there before going down very smooth. Just enough hops to keep it interesting on the back end but the smooth dark malt is the highlight. There was a little fruitiness (mostly esther banana) which added a very nice touch. The alcohol was well hidden, but I could begin to feel it creeping up. Sip this beer slowly and enjoy it-though it would be easy to put down a few of these. Bought a 6 pack and can't wait to see what this is like next year!

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours into my chalice a viscous, inky black with a creamy dark tan head on top. Black as night and enticing so far! Aromas kick off with deep roasted malts and an upfront licorice. Chocolate swirls around with a touch of dark fruit as well. Caramel sweetness as well. Rich and inviting.

First sip brings velvety smooth dark malts across the palate with a mix of bold licorice and chocolate flavors. Slightly vinous dark fruits melding with a caramel sweetness. Mellow coffee and molasses with a bit of dark bread. Super smooth and tasty. Just a hint of alcohol on the finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a solid medium body. This one is not overly heavy like some imperial stouts can be. Overall, a great depth of flavor and undeniably drinkable. This one is holding up quite nicely and I wish I had a few more. Many thanks to dmeadows for the unexpected opportunity.

Photo of tjthresh
3.26/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle that pours opaque dark brown with a fizzy brown head. The aroma is sweet chocolate covered raisins with a bit of a twang to it. Bitter chocolate flavors with some raisins and coffee. That funny twang is still there. Medium body. High carbonation. Dry finish. Just sort of okay.

Photo of badbeer
4.18/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out black with a dark tan head with excellent retention and lacing. Roasty, milk chocolate, coffee, and hints of cherry and smoke. Slightly hoppy and paired with bitter chocolate greet the tongue to begin, leading into a lingering roastiness with a slight alcohol burn. Higher than medium carbonation and medium bodied. Good brew from the folks at St. Arnold. I look forward to seeing how this one ages.

Bottle courtesy of PHawk; thanks for the opportunity!

Photo of Mora2000
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to bu11zeye for giving me this bottle. This is a beer that I thought I had missed out on.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a tan head. The aroma is heavy on the chocolate and roasted malt, with a little bit of soy sauce. I also get some nice vanilla notes.

The flavor is similar. I get a lot of chocolate and roasted malt. Even though the beer is not barrel aged, I get some vanilla and maple notes in the flavor. All of the flavors compliment each other very nicely. There is also a slight bit of soy sauce in the flavor but it is fairly subtle.

Thick, creamy mouthfeel and low carbonation.

Photo of rudylaw
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Killer extra from youbrewidrink. Thanks!

Pours witching hour black with a small, dark brown head.

Very sweet in the nose. Lots of heavy malts, chocolate milk that is heavy on the Hershey's syrup, Michigan cherries and vanilla. Ungodly aroma! Reminds me of 2007 Dark Lord.

Same taste but throw in shortbread cookies, licorice and some muted bourbon notes. My god, this is incredible. I get the cherries on the back end quite a bit. Almost tastes like a cordial.

Full-bodied all the way, May! Perfect low to medium carbonation. Very creamy and velvety.

I can't tell you how sad I am to not have anymore of these. What a surprise as I've never been floored with Saint Arnold until now. Amazing!

Photo of pwoods
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jasonjlewis for this trade.

12oz. stubby brown bottle poured into a Stone IRS glass. No dating.

A: Pours solid black with a moderate viscosity. Big, strong head forms and lasts quite a bit. Big bubbles continue to erupt from the middle of the head while tiny tight bubbles stick strong on the edges. Interesting to look at. A nice blanket of lacing throughout.

S: Deeply burnt malts and coffee character. Alcohol is pleasantly detectable. It smells intensely hopped along the lines of a fruity barleywine. A hint of smoke as the head dies a bit.

T/M: Dominance from burnt malts and strong bitter coffee. A nice sweetness from bitter chocolate help with complexity. Hops are hidden a bit by the intense malt character but add more bitterness and an earthy character. Alcohol might be a tad hot for some people and I'm a bit undecided.. I wonder what the ABV is. Full bodied and creamy, leaving a thick coat of cream on my tongue.

D: Very tasty and reasonably quaffable. I have a couple more and would like a few more as I'm betting this would be even better a year or so from now.

Photo of jbphoto88
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark purple/brown pour with a good fingers worth of similar purplish brown head. The head fades quickly and leaves some light lacing on the glass. This beer looks like any other dark russian imperial stout but then it moves in a different direction. The smell is fruity. I get mostly a plum dark fruit smell. Not unpleasing but not what I expected from a russian imperial stout. There is also hints of coco and raisins. The taste is very much the same as the smell except there is some smokiness and a fine malt and hop flavor combined with a little coffee flavors. All in all there is a lot going on in this beer and it works very nicely. It coats the mouth well and moves through the flavors nicely. Not my favorite R.I.S. but a nice surprise from St. Arnold. I am going to try and find some more and shelve it because its going to get real good after some aging.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, this is truly a unique RIS.
Pours almost black with a touch of dark amber where the light hits the glass. A full, dense tan head tops it and melts slowly leaving a nice sticky map in it's wake.

Aroma is hard to describe....dark fruits like plums and prunes, dark brown sugar, espresso with cream, some dark chocolate and then some wonderfully heavy sweet aroma I can't really identify.

Flavors of very dark chocolate covered fruits abound....some berry such as dark cherry or raspberry, again covered in chocolate. As you swallow it yields to coffee notes becoming slightly bitter as it finishes in your mouth leaving you with the warmth of alcohol and taste of bitter chocolate.

This bottle is a definite pleasure.

Photo of BillyB
4.82/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted this beer at the GABF pro-am table and I have to admit it was one of the highlights of the fest for me.

Poured a beautiful jet black with a faint, brown, creamy head.

Aromas of whiskey, chocolate, dark fruit and some coffee.

Tast was just fantastic. Sweet, chocolatey malt, prunes, figs, raisins, coffee, and a slightly bitter hop kick at the end.

Mouthfeel is big, thick and rich. A slick, oily drink with a very pleasant alcohol warmth.

I searched long and hard for this one and it was worth the wait.

Photo of Sammy
4.18/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Geuzedude. This is a very tasty classy RIS. Above average mouthfeel, though not very thick, and I think that was suitable to focus on the instrinsic taste of chocolate and spices. Very drinkable!Coffee secondary, which I appreciated. Complex malt, yet bittersweet throughout. Minimal head on black.A little overcarbonated, perhaps keeping it from a top 100.

Photo of prototypic
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Many, many thanks to JDV for sending me such a surprising extra. Your generosity is much appreciated.

Appearance: It pours a jet black color. No light getting through, even around the edges. Very impressive. Head is a dark mocha brown color and was roughly a finger deep. It dissipated very quickly and left a very light coat of lace on the glass.

Smell: It initially smells of rich, chocolate fudge. Very sweet smelling. Alcohol actually comes through pretty strong in the nose. It's a strong beer, but I wasn't anticipating alcohol to be quite as pronounced as it is. Dark fruit aromas (raisin and prune) are notable and add complexity. Roasted malts are present, but are more of a secondary player. Light roasted coffee scent rounds it out.

Taste: Chocolate malts are rich and sweet. They're the primary feature and taste very fine. Roasted malts indeed take a back seat, but are stronger than the nose would lead you to believe. Very flavorful. Alcohol is definitely noticeable, but is masked a little better in this department. Dark fruit flavors are blended well and complement the other elements nicely. Roasted coffee flavor is present and comes on relatively strong toward the end. It's lightly hopped, but just enough give it a bitter, snappy bite. Sweet and slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's full bodied and very creamy and smooth. Definitely has a nice silky quality to it. Carbonation is a little low, but very nicely done. Drinkability is very good. I'd probably limit myself to one due to it's strength, but it'd certainly be tempting to delve into another if had more.

This truly is a high quality Imperial Stout. The only flaw of any substance is that alcohol comes through a little too strong one the nose. But, that's really nitpicking it. This is an excellent beer and should definitely be checked out if you can find a bottle. Thanks a lot, Deniz. This was a treat.

Photo of BeerZack
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz screw-off bottle

This is one of the darkest pouring beers you can get, light barely penetrates the stream of beer as it pours out its thick inky black motor oil with a huge espresso-like foam on top. Lots of thick foam streaks lacing the glass all the way down.

Smells of smokey bitter chocolate (mole?), molasses, raisin, cherry and maybe some alcohol that kinda comes off as an extra fruit flavor thats a little off, like lychee or kiwi.

Taste does not disappoint. Bitter cocoa and molasses mostly with some fruity bitter hops and a tinge of alcohol. I think its the fruitiness from some of the hops that doesnt quite blend with the heavy malts (yet) that creates this watery lychee/bitter kiwi/soapy impression that I get.

Mouthfeel is awesome. Thick and creamy like an ice-cream float. Very nice.

Gonna try to hold some of this until next year, when it will probably be better. Definately a great brew for St Arnolds, a beer Texas can be proud of... and maybe my patriotism has affected this rating a tiny bit.

Photo of maxwere
4.9/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One day I will have to try an Storm King, Avery Czar or Oak Aged Yeti on draft, but until then, I have to say that this was the best RIS I have ever tasted! It did not have the distinctive "twang" (that I don't care for) that is usually identifiable of St Arnold.

I found this on draft at the Mucky Duck in Houston. It's not on the menu, so you'll have to ask for it.

Head: Medium "dirty" brown. Had the smell of dark chocolate/coffee.

Body: Opaque with many complex flavors that you'd find in the richest desserts. This beer got much better as it sat in the glass and reached about 60-70 degrees.

Like most RIS, take your time, this is the type of beer you would sip on for a half hour or so to really enjoy.

Photo of aqsprint
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black, jet black. 2 nice fingers of foam that quickly subsides after a couple of sips.

S - Chocolate, coffee, leather, roast. Smells great

T - Chocolate flavor up front along with a little coffee. Roast/burnt, almost bitter in the back of the mouth. Very Good! Warms the belly.

M - For me, this is what an Imperial Stout should feel like. Not too thick not too thin.

D - Very drinkable, but one is enough. Savor this one.

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.65/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a snifter, the liquid is dark dark brown close to black with good carbonation, a swirl of the glass leaves a nice coating on it. The head is dark mocha 1 finger thick and leaves some lace.

The smell is just great to excellent, dark roasted malt of chocolate and coffee aroma and a huge nose of alcohol.

The taste follows, great taste the rich chocolate jumps at you, then settles down for greater complexity in coffee and char flavors.

The mouthfeel is excellent rich smooth and creamy, great big body and very good carbonation.

The drinkability is excellent, on of the best I have had of this style, Many many thanks to Jason Lewis of hooking us up this on.

Prosit und Zum Wohl, MK

Photo of goochpunch
4.23/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a tar black with a chocolate mousse colored head that settles down to a thin rim of bubbles. Leaves some specks of lace. Aroma is full of a grassy, hay-like hop character with some citrus in there. Malts bring on the requisite chocolate and coffee along with a little bit of cherry. Chocolate is not so forceful in the flavor and plays off the grassy hops well. Big roastiness is kicked off right from the very beginning and stays on through to the aftertaste with an almost ashy character. Some berry-like fruitiness is found in the middle and finish, but surprisingly, is not of the typical Saint Arnold ester profile (which works just fine for me). Mouthfeel is definitely the high point of the beer: thick, chewy, and creamy. Drinkability takes a bit of a hit because of how rich this beer is. This is the best thing to come from this brewery and a real surprise for me.

Photo of akorsak
4.12/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Brianj555 for this 12 oz bottle.

A: The stout is appropriately black. Let's be honest, after x number of stouts, one runs out of colorful adjectives to describe a black beer. I've hit that wall. The head is a tan brown color, offset nicely against the darkness of the beer.

S: The aroma is loaded with rich notes. Milk chocolate, cocoa powder and dark fruits swirl with a noticeable sweetness. A dry nuttiness is also evident.

T: Very rich. The stout is fuller than both of the other stouts that I've enjoyed over the past two days (look 'em up). The sweetness is resounding, layering a smoothness over the roasted grains. The dark flavors are still present, dark and roasted, but they are tempered with many levels of sweetness. Cocoa powder and milk chocolate lead the way, followed by licorice and coffee. A combination of cinnamon and vanilla adds a spicy sweetness that is rather fleeting. Lactic sweetness lingers long after a sip is gone.

M: The ale is remarkably rich, sweet and deep. There is no harshness in this beer, even with the breadth of dark malts.

D: This doesn't feel like 10%. A warming stout that has a sweet profile.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Bu11zeye: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a nice big foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consisted of loads of black chocolate notes with some light sweet notes Taste was also a nice balance mix between some black chocolate, some sweetness and light roasted bitter malt at the end. I also noticed some light notes of raisins. Body is full with some vinous characteristics and some good carbonation. I have to admit to really enjoying that one.

4.51/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was interested to see if this beer lives up to the hype it has generated in such a short time.

Pours to an amazing 3 finger deep brown chocolate colored head with huge fat bursting bubbles. Head has nice retention and scattered lace as it fades. Body is as oilly thick and black as you could hope for in an Imperial stout. Nose has smokey malty notes and soft fuzzy hints of coco, minerals and toffee. Very silky dardness enters the mouth and quickly tones of rich roasty dark chocolate develop within this very complex brew. Toasty biscuity notes mingle with toffee and burnt bitterness that lasts long into the mouthfeel. The only slight drawback I see to this brew is a bit of scattered feel that shows that this beer will probably age and perfect very well. The only hint of alchol is the nice warmth that arrises in the belly. This beer is a delecious mouth painter and ranks up there with many other big, high quality Impys. Incredibly drinkable for such a huge stout. Lovely now but will only get better with age.

Photo of TexIndy
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my tasting pint. No dating info but this was a one-time release so I know the age. Released in Sept 07 so this has some age on it now. It was pitch black even against a light. It had a 2 finger brown head that slowly settled into a small foam. Good lacing. The aroma was awesome. Strong on coffee, chocolate and smoke. Had a bit of dark fruit that seemed a bit off so just shy of a 5. The taste was amazing as well. Really grown into this style over the past couple years and this one is near the top of the class. The only knock I had on it was that it was a bit hot when released and had too much of an alcohol taste to it. Even after 10 months, it still has a very noticeable alcohol taste to it which keeps it from a 5 for me. Great mouthfeel. Nice and creamy with a solid bite. Overall, an outstanding beer that I hope they reissue. Rumor from a buddy who took a tour and talked with them is that once the new brewery is open and more capacity that they are going to make a standard offer. Let's hope so.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz received in trade from either BeerZack or TexasJeep.. both were class act traders... I've had a bunch of these, but this is my final bottle... damn it! Poured int my Boulevard Smokestack Goblet... I love this beer.

1" head is the color of the foam on fresh brewed espresso.. Dies back leaving only spotty lacing but a beautiful collar above a black brew where no light escapes...

Aroma is soo complex.. verging on world class... thick chocolate and French roast.. subtle yeasty fruitiness reminds me of dried cherries and figs.. alcohol is there, but isn't bad and only adds a nice spicy note.

Flavor is like a cup of great coffee with a square of bittersweet chocolate mixed in.. lingering up-front RIS flavors are elegant and mix well from front to back... Roasty and chocolaty without an abundance of char. The alcohol contributes to an essence of chocolate liquor without to much sweetness. Fruitiness is more restrained than I remember from previous bottles.. but it is still there with dried cherries .. raisins .. and whiffs of fig. Body is pretty smack-dab perfect... carbonation is smooth yet everpresent.

I really enjoy this brew... Tonight, it goes back on the wants.. somebody hook me up please!


Photo of peabody
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Shadow's Skulk for this one.
Pours out a really dark black/brown. The suds are more toward the milky brown.
Smell is of burnt malts with some hops and a nose burning yeast.Chocolate and smoke and wine, with an ashtray sort of aroma but in a really really sweet malty sort of way.
Just had the Ten Fidy and I must say, this is every bit as good as the Ten Fidy.
If I could get this on a regular basis, I would.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.24/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served at cellar temperature and poured into a Pint Glass

A – Poured a very dark and opaque black color with a thick oil like pour. No carbonation on the pour at all no matter how hard I tried to force it out of there. A really thick consistency looks apparent as this liquid just kind of sat there in the glass staring up at me. A slight bit of tan lace forming around the side but leaving the middle bare, and even this on the side faded quickly and really left behind nothing in its wake. No side glass lace left over at all either, rather dull looking to be honest, but judgment will be reserved for the final outcome.

S – The aroma was heavy from the very first smell that came across my nose. This was going to be classic RIS all the way through. The first notes to hit were of a deep dark chocolate, nothing overbearing and this was not dominant, just first in line, opening the door to hints of roasted coffee and warming alcohol, which let you know this was indeed going to be a big one and nothing to fool with. As it warmed some more subtle hints started to emerge with a touch of licorice starting to come through as well as even the slightest bit of hoppiness way in the back with a roasted or burnt caramel sweetness.

T – The flavor was very nice, full of alcohol, but still very nice. This was the first thing I noticed when I took a sip was the little bit of stinging on my lips and the warming as it went down, not too say this overpowered anything, quite the contrary as it had the effect of building it up and opening you up the flavors that were going to come in behind it. A very big flavor of chocolate was next to hit as it washed over you and gave that nice bitter dark chocolate touch, this rolled into the roasted coffee and licorice flavors that came out well in the aroma, now translating over to the flavor as well. A very nice bitter touch here, maybe the hops coming through as it warmed up it got more complex, evolving into a little battle between the sweetness and the bitter aftertaste. Very nice flavor.

M – Now here was a little bit of a detractor, and I have to be honest but it just did not live up to the hype as far as the feel goes. Maybe I got a bad bottle, or maybe that’s the way it was supposed to be, but the carbonation was extremely lacking, leaving it to feel somewhat flat and even a little thin to be honest. The flavor was great, but I wanted this to come off a little thicker and fuller then it did, instead it just was kind of flat. Very nice finish to it though as it came to a dry bitter end and you were looking for the next sip rather quickly, and the thinness kept it from being overly filling, except that I was actually looking for it to be overly filling.

D – Surprisingly highly drinkable for a 10%abv RIS. The alcohol in it was apparent, but was never overwhelming and never really became a factor in the overall presentation of it. I don’t see why I would have had any issue at all in having another one of these later on.

Overall not bad, but again I have had better. It just seemed to lack the carbonation and this caused the appearance as well as the feel to come off a touch flat and to never really get back off the ground. I would have loved for it to be different, but it wasn’t and unfortunately there is nothing I can do about my perception. The flavors were great though and the overall profile was very nice I just wish it had been a little more active. I would still highly recommend this one to anybody and will be looking to try another bottle.

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Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #5 from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 185 ratings.