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Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #5 - Saint Arnold Brewing Company

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

183 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 183
Reviews: 139
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.91%
Wants: 110
Gots: 10 | 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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: TexIndy on 08-14-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 183 | Reviews: 139 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.38/5  rDev -22.1%
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.

Gueuzedude, Mar 19, 2008
Photo of grub
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Viggo shared this one. thanks eric!

12oz bottle. sampled march 15/08.

pours opaque and nearly black with a small dense red-brown head. the head drops fast and leaves a few spots of lace behind.

aroma is great. chocolate and orange. bit of other fruit too. light alcohol. dark chocolate. caramel and toffee. light roast. light sweetness. bit of toasty bready malt. cherry. creamy too. touch of belgian character. light slightly sweet smoke too.

taste is good. medium bitterness level. roasty. bit of dark chocolate. bread and biscuit malt. lots of fruit. light citrus. bit of dark fruit. cherry. light alcohol. medium-low bitterness level. slightly toasty.

mouthfeel is good. medium-low carbonation level. smooth. medium-large body.

drinkability is good. neat mix of fruity stout character with a bit of chocolate to round things out. well balanced and quite enjoyable.

grub, Mar 17, 2008
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Georgiabeer, Mar 16, 2008
Photo of illidurit
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review #200!

Bottle courtesy of PHawk's random generosity.

Poured into a snifter. Body is completely black, more satanic than divine. Head is mocha-brown and thick. Lots of lacing.

Aroma is quite fruity with some raisin and dark berry. Bitter chocolate and a sugary sweetness, maybe vanilla?

Nice balance of chocolate and dark fruit in the flavor, with alcohol appearing underneath the latter with a peppery quality. Some roastiness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is full and sumptuous. Booze is subdued, finish is pretty dry.

illidurit, Mar 13, 2008
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.68/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to geuzelover for sharing the TX love.

This one pours an inky black with a mocha pudding and rust head that revitalizes itself with a quick swirl. Lovely.

Smells big and boozy. It comes from a gooey barley and caramel with some Hershey's Syrup to a woody celery and slightly sour prune. I'm thinking Bell's 7k right now.

Tastes of sweat milk chocolate and sweet cream which is far from cloying with some big prunes. There's a slight old coffee that lingers far into the finish along with some sappy green wood.

Feels big and playful, clean and fluffy. Starts big and then vanishes. You really can't ask for much more.

An instant classic and a joy to drink. It also does a marvelous job at hiding it's booze in the flavor.

DarkerTheBetter, Mar 10, 2008
Photo of ruckzuck
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally cracking into what my cousin gave me at Christmas and very excited! St. Arnold's does great stuff and their brewery tour is way fun. Great rootbeer too! Anyway, on

A - dark with a seriously brown head; looks really enticing!

S - alcohol soaked dark fruit, roasted malt, chocolate, hints of coffee

T - very similar to the smell, the dark chocolate and coffee seem more pronounced in the taste to me

M - well this is a seriously full and solid-bodied beer, really smooth and really enjoyable, bit of carbonation

D - wow off the charts! Thanks to my cousin and thanks to St. Arnold for this incredible RIS! Despite the hints of alcohol in the initial smell and taste this is incredibly smooth and drinkable IMO. Really love it. Everyone should try this. I wish, wish, wish this would become a permanent part of St. Arnold's line up. Oh well, here's looking forward to #6!

ruckzuck, Feb 27, 2008
Photo of wcudwight
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black in color with a dark cocoa colored, 2 finger sized, carbonated head. Head slowly recedes to a thick pond of lace on top of the beer.
Chocolate, leather, tobacco. Kind of smells like a pipe.
Lot's of chocolate in this one with little coffee. This also has more fruit flavors than others of the style I've had. Raisins, cherries, dates, figs. Very fruity tasting middle to end.
Great mouthfeel. Not as thick and filling as others of the style which makes it more drinkable imo.
A damn fine beer. Wish I had more.

wcudwight, Feb 27, 2008
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Phyl21ca, Feb 20, 2008
Photo of francisweizen
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

Probably the fruitiest imperial stout out there. Dark black with ruby edges on the pour. Dark fruit aromas abound and mix with tobacco and leather. Chocolate, roasted malt, coffee, and raisins/plums/cherries/figs/etc. Taste is similar a bit sweet up front with a nice roast in the back palate. Dark fruit assaults the tongue as well. Mouthfeel is thick, but not too thick, drinkability is good. Nice.

francisweizen, Feb 09, 2008
Photo of ffejherb
3.68/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle into half pint glass. Thanks again to BA Deuane for sharing.

A - Pitch black body with the brownest head I've ever seen. Very creamy head left some nice lacing.

S - Quite a complex aroma here. Each whiff seemed to pull out a different smell, including soy sauce, beef jerky, chocolate, dark fruit, mild coffee, tobacco, horsechestnuts and black walnuts.

T - Many of the aromas come out in the taste. You get some chocolate paired with prunes, dates and raisins, as well as contrasting soy sauce and meaty broth. Quite an interesting, unique taste.

M - Exceptional creamy mouthfeel with a pretty chewy texture and mild bitter finish.

D - Not my favorite style, but man, this is one unique and pretty tasty brew. Highlight for me was the creamy mouthfeel and pulling out all of the various aromas in this complex brew.

ffejherb, Jan 27, 2008
Photo of rallison
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to HoustonTX for going to as much trouble as he did in getting this to me (long story short - sometimes you really want to hate FedEx and UPS).

So, I arrive home and it's drearily raining outside. But, I really don't mind. Why? DR #5 arrived today. What a perfect choice for such a night!

So, put it in the freezer for a few minutes to get it down to cellar temperature, then pop the top and pour it into my Delirium Tremens snifter. What greets me is a most excellent looking imperial stout. No light escapes this black body, and the creamy, thick, dark tan head leaves some beautiful lacing on the glass.

First smell is of bitter chocolate and some slightly burnt, roasty espresso. As it warms, I also get some touches of molasses and sweeter chocolates.

And the taste? Some dark fruits appear here in addition to the smells mentioned above. There is quite a bit of roasted malts in here, that's for sure. The chocolate mostly stays toward the dark and bitter, with just a touch of sweetness thrown in for good measure. Hops seem to provide a nice bite at the end. Alcohol does make a presence as well. I'm thinking age might improve this a bit - bring the flavors together some more and mellow things out. I'll hold on to a bottle to see.

Mouthfeel is good with a slightly sharp finish. Roasted flavors linger a while - somewhat similar to the flavors that linger after taking a sip of espresso. I wouldn't actually mind the mouthfeel to be a bit smoother/creamier, but this is still good.

Drinkability is definitely good, but this is a slower sipper than some of the imperial stouts I have had.

Highly recommended. I don't think this is on the level of the very best imperial stouts (a good bottle of Expedition is still a very tough to beat benchmark), but is not very far off either.

rallison, Jan 24, 2008
Photo of tayner
3.6/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

poured black as night with 1 inch chocolate colored head that laced well

smelled roasty, toasty, and alcohol nose

tasted of burnt malts, overly roasted bitter coffee beans and warm, but not hot, alcohol finish. not tasting much in the way of hops.

Thick and full mouthfeel, but not creamy. sort of oily feeling.

drinkabilty for me was not as good as i hoped. it was too roasted for me to really enjoy, sort of out of balance with the rest of the flavors. maybe a bit more hops to balance might have made it better. maybe age will help mellow the bitterness and meld the flavors together more.

tayner, Jan 23, 2008
Photo of mikesgroove
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

mikesgroove, Jan 22, 2008
Photo of objectivemonkey
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into a proper pint, pours a thickly a jet black, dark tan head of an inch, subsiding to a thick coating, good sheets of lacing that don't stick much to the glass until it warms. The aroma starts heavy, strong, the alcohol not hiding but still nice in a rum kind of way, but levels off after a while, with its chocolate, anise, and vanilla notes coming out more. Also some hints of cocoa, dark fruits, and brown sugar. Impressed.

Taste follows along the same lines, the mouth also thick and heavy, and very creamy, but just a tad over-carbonated. Starts out with chocolate, then cocoa, a wink of rum that bitters through the middle and briefly hints at dark fruits of plums, maybe cherries, ends dry with that bittersweet chocolate, a kind of charcoal fired coffee grinds thing to it, some molasses. It certainly doesn't lack of flavor, but perhaps a direction, or cohesion (really, criticizing something like this in that manner is iffy, ticky tacky at best, but...).

In all, quite a tasty brew, one I wish I had more of to both enjoy and spread the love. I just want to explore this one a bit more. As it stands, very glad it was suggested to me... much thanks to BeerZach for this one.

objectivemonkey, Jan 22, 2008
Photo of jbphoto88
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

jbphoto88, Jan 21, 2008
Photo of alexgash
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark oily brown to black body, with a very thick, viscous look (the way I like my Imperial Stouts to look). Thick, robustly dense, cocoa-brown head. Great lacing up the glass.

Lots of charred, roasty malts on the nose. Scorched brown sugar-crusted plums. Bitter dark chocolate. Chicory/coffee earthiness. Herbal hop aromas. Nice and complex, but a little reserved. Roasted malt/coffee and herbal hop flavors up front. Whiskeyish dark fruits with brown sugar sweetness unfold. Hints of cardboard (oxidation?). Bitter dark chocolate melds with peripheral herbal hop bitterness. Warming. Thick, full-bodied feel with a mostly creamy texture. Smooth. Very good RIS and maybe the best beer I've had from Texas so far!

alexgash, Jan 20, 2008
Photo of ppoitras
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

ppoitras, Jan 17, 2008
Photo of Sammy
4.22/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Sammy, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of DIM
4.28/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: This beer is pitch black. A vigorous pour produces a big dark tan head that fades quickly leaving some lace.

s: Not a powerful nose at all. What it lacks in intensity it makes up for with complexity. I found some alcohol, cocoa, coffee, sweet vanilla, and something woody and earthy.

t: Slightly bitter coffee and unsweetend chocolate start thing off. Roasty smokey vanilla with woody note that is too strong comes next. This beer might be a bit too young yet as the alcohol finish is somewhat hot. Leaves a nice hop/coffee tingle on the tongue.

m: Wow, this beer is smooth, silky, thick, and very well carbonated.

d: Thanks to SPLITGRIN for the chance to try this one. A world class impy stout for sure.

DIM, Dec 28, 2007
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.

pwoods, Dec 28, 2007
Photo of hero27
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle.
Courtesy of SPLITGRIN.

Pours an inky black..a substantial head of beige foam sits immoble on top.
Aroma is a very earthy toasted malt with a ton of chocolate to back it up..
Prunes, plums, and other sweet fruit flavors mingle with the heavy chocolate maltiness..the flavor is substantial and complex. It comes off a tad boozy, but I am not sure how high up on the ABV scale this one is, so it's not necessarily a chink in this beer's armor. Caramel, coffee, and some slight cocoa-tinged bitterness in the finish.
A unique & delicious imperial stout out of Texas that is well worth trying.

Wish I had a few more to stash away..I think this could be incredible with some age on it.

hero27, Dec 23, 2007
Photo of ttu94
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've been saving the last two bottles of this from a six pack purchased in early October. This beer looks great. Black with a big creamy chocolate colored head. Smell is an absolute joy. Loaded with caramel chocolate malt aroma. Taste is very complex. Chocolate roasted malt with nice rasin flavor. Alchol is warm and inviting not at all obtrusive. I have not had too many imperial stouts but this one is my favorite.

ttu94, Dec 21, 2007
Photo of mentor
4.05/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Second Review: 2010-10-24 (A=4 S=4.5 T=4 M=4.5 D=3.5)
Obtained from TexasStout several years ago and cellared properly since then. Thanks much! I probably haven't had one of these in 2 or 3 years, so I thought I'd give it a shot to see how it was developing.

Pours a thin layer of dark brown head over a pitch liquid. Viscous during the pour. Smells wonderful. Mocha. Blackberry and grassiness still around from the hops (has to have been Northern Brewer hops). Molasses, salt, carob, syrup used to make hot cocoa, dry powdery pils malt, and a clean moderately stingy alcohol carries a mild caramel oxidation. Very nice. Some sour from roasted grains, dry baker's chocolate, and vanillins on the alcohol. Intense, complex, and blended. The alcohol could use a bit more time to settle.

Tastes carob. Delicious rich milk-chocolate sweet balanced by baker's chocolate dry. Imagine a chocolate brownie that dried about a bit overnight in the pan; crisp dry outside, but luscious middle. Tempered roast due to the malt sweet. Perky presentation of dark fruits (prune, plum, and some raspberry) with mild cherry sour to keep them from bearing too heavy. Also, the mouthfeel is a bit light, due to the strong clean alcohol. Salty with some iron and still some grassiness from the strong hopping. Raspberry and blackberry flavor from the hops accompany a dark grain acidic edge in the finish and aftertaste. Dry grassy aftertaste combines with the alcohol to keep this beer from sticking. Md-thick, but silky thick and moderate carbonation.

With age, I see this beer going either way. There is a chance that it could go the way of salt and soy, though I see the alcohol settling and more flavors developing in the short term (2ish years). Currently, the flavors have not blended and that, with the strong saltiness give me some concern. I'll try my next bottle in 2012 or 2013.

Writing this review took the entire 12 oz bottle. That's rare for me, I can usually get a review done in half a glass and then sit back and enjoy the rest.

First review: 2007-12-09 (A=5 S:=3 T=4.5 M=5 D=3.5)
If you have just one bottle of this beer, I suggest you *not* open it tonight. IMO, this beer needs at least two years in the cellar. I suspect this beer will peak at a decade or more and am kicking myself for opening my only bottle tonight. Overall, it's a bit conglomerate. That is, alot of intense flavors are present, but they are no where near smoothing together. The potential is there and I like to be optomistic.

Pours a thick dark liquid. Two finger dark brown head over a pitch black liquid. Thick clingy head caves downward. Smells roast, earthy, ashy, grassy, bit of sour. Either alot of oxidation or odd-roasty flavors mixing with alcohol in a not so pleasing manner.

Tastes wet sweet with potent flavors. Roast, dark fruits, bit of sour, hop bitter, some grassy, and a clean alcohol. Wowzers, this is one intensely-flavored beer. I wonder if most of the roast character comes from chocolate malt. I once made a beer that had a similar flavor (but not intense) in which a massive dose of chocolate malt gave a rich espresso character with ashy and subtle chocolatey flavors. Some baker's cocoa (because it is chocolatey and dry) mixed with granular sugar. Actually, a bit like the powdered brownie mix my wife cooked up today (I stole a dab as she was making it). Maybe some peated malt, but not enough to stand clear. Prunes and berry with a hint of sour (like you get in cherries). Sweet molasses. The alcohol is clean of fusels and strong. The alcohol has a bit of flat character that I'm not fond of, perhaps hops carried on the alcohol favors? Finish dries out because the alcohol cleans off the tongue. Leaves a grassy and dried-out white chocolate flavor in the mouth as an aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, this is as good as it gets. Moderate carbonation, despite the large head. The aftertaste leaves something to be desired. The flat grassy hop character is just not what I would expect in a potent RIS. I seek something sweet/pleasing and hanging to ponder while watching the fire on a cold winter eve (such as tonight). They must have use a metric ass-load of hops to get them to show through the massively intense malt flavors.

mentor, Dec 09, 2007
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!

hopsleeroy, Nov 26, 2007
Photo of JDV
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an oily, thick, jet black with a nice somewhat short lasting tan head on it in a snifter from the bottle.
Right off the bat after uncapping it, I could tell this smell was different than any Imperial Stout I've tried and still it was quite complex. It was a very rich malty, somewhat roasty and quite chocolately smell with just light hint of coffee at first, and definite gooey banana and juicy dried fig like sweet notes to it.
Body and mouthfeel was amazingly smooth, thick and mouth coatingly creamy and exactly what I'd want in this type of beer. Taste was rich, hearty, malt and chocolate with a truly pleasant hint of alcohol (which I typically strongly dislike) and an over ripe sweet banana and rich dark fruity finish to it.
For 10% this is all too easy to drink. The only thing it lacked was everything I dislike about Imperial Stouts such as overly chalky or powdery bitterness, burnt tastes, and a dreaded soy flavor. Truly a unique, great beer in every respect.

JDV, Nov 26, 2007
Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #5 from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 183 ratings.