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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: 109
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
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 | Display Reviews Only:
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 t0rin0
2.5/5  rDev -42.4%

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of Thorpe429
2.5/5  rDev -42.4%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.5/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of brentk56
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a murky obsidian color with a prodigious tan head that retains well and does a thorough lace job

Smell: Dark chocolate, cocoa powder and prunes

Taste: Starts out with a rich dark chocolate flavor that is joined by cocoa powder, mid-palate; after the swallow, there is a dark fruit prunish element that appears to join the chocolate flavors

Mouthfeel: Thick and almost syrupy; with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A little rough at this stage; look forward to sampling again when it has some age on it (Note: Three years later it has matured very nicely, indeed; tried again in the fourth year and, though still good, it is a bit past its prime)

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.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"I liked those guys. They weren't full of shit."

--Michael Jackson (when asked about his tour of Saint Arnold Brewing in 1994).

Pitch black with no highlights whatsoever. Not even with bright sunshine behind the glass. The molasses milkshake colored crown is a beast that looks like it'll take forever to shrink from three fingers to two. Shredded sheets of lace complete the 'bad ass stout in a pint glass' look.

The aroma is as dark, as roasted and as rich as expected. Baker's chocolate has a slight lead over coffee-with-cream and anise. A little bit more complexity and nostril-filling power would have easily earned the next highest score. Note: warming gets it there.

The question coming in was whether or not SA Divine Reserve #5 is as good as the hype that accompanies it says it is. Although I'm not sure that it's the 79th Best Beer on Planet Earth (currently), it's a damn fine Russian Imperial stout and is almost certainly one of Texas's best.

The roasted malt backbone isn't huge... but flavor delivery is. Each sip of this devilishly delicious concoction explodes on contact and soaks the taste buds with raging rivers of bittersweet chocolate and blackstrap molasses, black licorice and a surprising amount of white grapefruit-like hop juiciness. For those who care about such things, the hop bill is made up of Nugget, Willamette and Centennial.

As the temperature of the beer creeps toward (an estimated) 60 degrees, the flavors become even more bold and even more well-integrated. The ABV is up there, but the beer isn't the least bit hot. Warm maybe, but not hot. Sip and savor is the way to go.

This is the best Saint Arnold's brew that I have had yet. If these guys have any business sense at all, they'll release Divine Reserve #5 at least once a year. Under a new name of course. It's just too damn bad that my one and only bottle is now almost empty. Thanks BeerZack. Under the cap... 'Twist & shout'.

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.

Photo of womencantsail
2.94/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Thanks Bobby for sharing this one.

A: The pour is a very dark brown color, almost black, with a thin ring of tan foam.

S: A weird chemical aroma, sort of a cleaning solution thing going on, with the more usual chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt aromas. Alcohol is quite noticeable, too, even though it's "only" 10%, along with overripe dark fruits.

T: The flavor is definitely better, but sort of weak for a style like RIS. Roasted malts, coffee, molasses, alcoholic heat, and dark chocolate with a big bitterness--in an overly roasted sense--that I find off-putting.

M: Sort of the one redeeming quality about this beer is the mouthfeel. The body is medium with a low, smooth carbonation.

D: Not a very drinkable or enjoyable beer. Imperial stouts are usually a pretty forgiving style, but it just didn't work out on this one.

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

Appearance: Pitch black with dark brown froth. The head retains for about a minute before settling into a ring.

Smell: Chocolate-covered coffee beans, burnt toast and a hint of citrus. Alcohol becomes more noticeable in the nose as it warms.

Taste & mouthfeel: Flavors of dark chocolate come out first, followed by molasses and black licorice. Full on the palate, but not overly so - this beer has superb balance. Notes of fresh black coffee come out in the finish, so strong that you'd swear they added coffee to this beer (not the case, from what I understand).

Notes: Thanks to JonathanL7890 for the bottle. I'm glad I had the chance to try this brew, it's exceptionally good.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.98/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an inky, crude-looking black body with a tiny beige head.

Smell: Roasted malt aroma of dark chocolate, molasses, and coffee beans. There's a ton of odd fruity esters encapsulated in the aroma, like melon, bananas, and berries, none of which followed over into the flavor.

Taste: Rich flavors of dark chocolate, roasted malts, molasses, and just a hint of coffee, sort of like a cake batter or brownie mix, though it's never overly sweet. A peppery bitterness grows and lasts into the roasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Very little carbonation. Velvety mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Hmm... not bad! A tasty, one-of-a-kind stout.

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

Acquired from mikesgroove courtesy of the I Want That IV BIF, so a big Thank You goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a thin light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of sweet dark fruits, chocolate, roasted malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste is very well-balanced for the style with strong flavors of dark chocolate, roasted espresso and dark fruits. There's a little bit of smokiness and the very hearty dark malt character that you'd expect from the style. There's a mild hops presence that brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, strong kick, excellent representation of style, this is a very good big stout to drink for as long as you can handle it.

Photo of MasterSki
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Dave for sharing this on New Beer Sunday.

A - Thick, generous creamy mocha head with some attractive lacing. Black as night.

S - Roast barley, plums, currants, chocolate, coffee with cream, and a slightly acidic port. This smells delicious!

T - There's more molasses and malt barely in the taste, as well as the chocolate and creamy coffee. Perfect balance of dark chocolate bitterness ad malt sweetness. There's also a touch of oak flavor.

M - Smooth, creamy, with nice slight carbonation. Could a tiny bit thicker, however.

D - Awesome - I can't taste the booze at all. I wish this beer came in bombers (and that it wasn't a limited release). Went down really easy and was definitely the highlight of this New Beer Sunday.

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 Gueuzedude
3.36/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A vigorous pour yields an almost three-finger thick, light-cocoa brown colored head. The beer is a pitch black color and quite opaque. The aroma is quite fruity with a substantial burnt prune note to it. Aromas of blackened molasses, a touch of licorice, and a mix of sweetened coffee & chocolate liquors. Toasted malt & toasted bread notes add another layer underneath the straight up roasted aromas. A burnt, almost broccoli-like, vegetal note is here in the aroma, though it is not entirely surprising as I have been finding this more and more in Imperial Stouts recently, it is a bit off-putting; this note really seems to dominate the aroma after a short bit of exploring the nose.

Slightly viscous, with a velvety texture that coats the mouth. The beer is sweet up front, but is substantially dried out by an ample, burnt, roast grain character that is in the finish. This roast grain character contributes to a solid bitterness that is also contributed by a nice hop bite. The hop bitterness is a bit more forward in the flavor profile though, with the burnt bitter notes lingering on in a very long finish. Concentrated flavors of black coffee, sharp espresso and burnt prunes / burnt raisins are all quite noticeable. The burnt-vegetal note of the aroma is here in the taste, in fact it is quite noticeable during each and every sip. Luckily, after 45 minutes from popping the cap, the beer seems to be losing that burnt-rancid-vegetal note some; it is still here, but plays a much less significant role.

This is a very roast dominated brew, even by Imperial Stout standards, though I would not quite call it over the top in that regard. It has just enough body and malt richness to hold the burnt notes from becoming over-bearing. Unfortunately there is the burnt, green-vegetal note that is both in the aroma and in the flavor, otherwise this would be a really good beer. With this off note the beer is still drinkable and even mostly enjoyable, just not the beer that it could be. If you have the patience you might want to let this breath for an hour or so before drinking and this seems to lessen the impact of the off-character.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.32/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks go to WeisGuy for the chance to try this beer. Pours black with a light tan head that settles to a ring. Smells of licorice and molasses to start, and the licorice is particularly distinct- like those Italian Panda brand licorice candies. The taste is similar, a really nive combination of flavors, but it falls off just a bit toward the middle. The finish renews the flavor again. Lots of licorice up front followed by a good bit of roasted grain, some espresso, dark fruit, and some late chocolate flavors like those found in a good Sumatran coffee rather than in a candy bar. The mouthfeel is just a tad thin to me, but creamy and smooth. Very nice stout- reminds me of a good cup of coffee in its smoothness and flavor.

Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

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 HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A gift from thickerfreakness, a great beer advocate. Thanks a lot Charles.

Poured into a snifter. Divine Reserve #5 pours motor oil black. The head is light brown and about two fingers high in the snifter. It recedes slowly and leaves a little lacing.

The aroma reveals bittersweet chocolate. Some earthy hops linger in the background, but they're mostly overwhelmed by the roasted character and the rich chocolate of the malt. The malt smells sweet. A low level of coffee is present. The alcohol is well hidden in the nose. Some dark fruits are evident but not dominant, maybe figs. The aroma gets better and better as the beer warms from 55 degrees.

The flavor is bittersweet chocolate up front with some alcohol and strong roasted malt. Molasses is present and the alcohol is well hidden for 10% ABV. The roasted finish reveals the strongest coffee flavor yet, but it's still at a low level, which I'm happy about. The alcohol is warming in the finish.

Robust with a low-medium level of carbonation. The mouthfeel has some viscosity, and is smooth and creamy.

A damn fine Russian Imperial Stout.

On a separate note, I don't know how the picture got approved.

Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to brandoman63 for this brew.

Pours a very nice deep black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, with some minimal sticky lacing. The nose is big on malts, dark chocolates, and coffee. The taste is malty, lots of chocolate/toffee/coffee. Full body, the alcohol is hidden very well for a brew this high, barely noticeable. Very drinkable, I'm glad I finally got a chance to try this brew, highly recommended. Thanks Brandon.

Photo of ppoitras
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained as part of Secret Santa 07 package from RickSawyer. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 2" purply dark brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Super thick head falls oh-so slowly, with thick lace coating. Aroma is chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, and alcohol. Taste is roasty dark malts upfront, light bitterness in the middle, with a lingering coffee aftertaste. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth, and drinkability is much too easy for the style. Need one for the cellar too.

Photo of johnnnniee
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle received in trade from TexIndy and RickSawyer, Thanks guys for the opportunity and the great trades.
This sample was tasted almost a year after its release.

Pours a solid black with a smallish tan head that sticks around as a thin cap the whole way down. Smells of roasted coffee some dark chocolate and a bit of dark dried fruit. Tastes of roasted malts and chocolate with a warming alcohol towards the finish. Creamy mouthfeel, crisp carbonation, full body.

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