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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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

184 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 184
Reviews: 139
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 9.91%
Wants: 109
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: 184 | Reviews: 139 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sean9689
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jason for this one! 12oz bottle split up into Darkness tulip.

A - Pours black, slight tan/mocha colored head, big bubbles, thin collar, no cap.

S - Roasty chocolate, dark fruit, whoppers (the candy), sweet burnt sugars, slight booze note. Very rich and decadent with all the rich malty chocolate (ie. whoppers) and excellent roast notes.

T - Huge roast, dark chocolate, slight touch of dark fruit, oak. Again, a wonderful blend of roast, chocolate, and oak. Very smooth and creamy, like a chocolate truffle.

M - Full body, smooth carbonation, creamy finish.

O - An excellent RIS that I really enjoyed. Hard to find any faults with this one, and the candy whopper notes really stuck out in my mind and made this one memorable then most. If you can find a bottle, get this!

Sean9689, Jun 15, 2011
Photo of CrellMoset
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle courtesy of a great trader as part of Black Booty, Vol III last year. Been waiting to crack this one a while. Poured in to an oversized snifter, both probably because it's appropriate and because I couldn't find my tulip.

Appearance: Pours a molasses brownie fudge, dark, thick, and rich, opulent even, slithering out of the neck of the stubby bottle and in to the chasm of the glass. Half a finger of mocha-hued head manages to form in the vacuous openness of the snifter but it fades fairly quickly in to a bubbly, sudsy collar and a fleeting surface dusting. Successive sips leave rippling, mirage-esque bits and pieces of lacing. It's a rich-looking beer, but all the other aspects are what one would expect from a 10.0% imperial stout.

Aroma: Luscious milk chocolate and dark, toffee-coated raisins greet the nose warmly, followed by wave after wave of dry, mature, mellow, dark malts, all the way from moderately roasted to singed to perfection. It's a great array of toastiness, and it mingles well with all of the yeasty fruity nuances.

Taste: I imagine this one's dried out a little with age, but it's still very robustly flavored. Tons of bittersweet fudge dominate the malt profile, but some black patent astringencies and dark toastiness do sneak through amidst the lighter players. Dark toffee also intermingles nicely with a few dark fruit notes, mainly raisins, but also some mildly tart dates, and a surprising amount of berry notes, mostly blueberries. Hop bitterness is an afterthought, faded as much as the sweetness has become with such aging.

Mouthfeel: Thick, fat, syrupy, slick, and still. The carbonation is still present but has definitely subsided, leaving only hints of a tickle of effervescence with the initial dozen or so sips and then even less.

Drinkability: A great beer, and one that's perfect in a twelve oz. bottle at 10% (though that doesn't mean I didn't wish I had more). Age has been kind to this one, and I'm pleased it hasn't developed more than the faintest twinge of oxidation, a graceful, mellow oxidation. Somewhat futile to tell people to seek this out at this stage, but if you get the chance, it's definitely worth trying - a refined, well-made RIS that's a nice change of pace from those over the top, in your face versions that permeate the shelves these days.

CrellMoset, Jun 08, 2011
Photo of joshuaseresse
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this as part of a generous trade with tjmodica, thanks Tom! Split with my girlfriend and poured into snifters:

A - Pours a jet black with a nice, although slightly thin, mocha head. After a bit, the head dies into a nice, thick foam ring around the edges with patchy bubbles around the edges and middle. Lacing is pretty thick, although its slides right on down the sides of the glass.

S - Nice roast that is not overpowering, bakers chocolate, cocoa, fudge and a touch of coffee grounds. Just a light touch of hops and vanilla. Really nice, delicious smell.

T - Dark belgium chocolate, cocoa, roast, malts and a bit of hops. Oak, wood and a touch of smoke. Reminds me of a coffee chocolate cake, topped with fudge. Delicious!

M - Creamy and smooth. Carbonation is lighter but the texture is just great. A little bit drying from the roast, but it is good stuff.

O - I really like this stuff. Its been a while since I've found a non barrel aged stout that tastes like this. The flavor is all there, the smell is great and I just really enjoyed this beer. I don't know exactly how old this stuff is but I want more to age and drink whenever I want. Thanks again Tom!

joshuaseresse, May 22, 2011
Photo of Mora2000
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

Mora2000, Apr 18, 2011
Photo of beachbum1975
4.1/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewdlyhooked13 was kind enough to give this to me about a year ago. Thanks very much!

Real-time review taking place; nice little psst while prying off the cap.

Poured at 50 degrees into a wide mouthed wine glass. Pours a clear, but barely visible, dirty oil to black in color. The head only lasted a moment, leaving a small ring of suds around the edges of my glass. Mocha brown head.

A big, vivid burst of roasted malts, coffee grounds so intense it's almost as if they were at the verge of being burnt, mixed with figs, oak and sweet brandy. Black licorice vibe in the base of this, as well.

Black licorice is much more evident when tasting. Coffee, mildly sweet malts, dark chocolate and cherry picked up. Complex and decadent.

Thick, wet & slippery mouthfeel. Lower carbonation. Finishes a bit watery and leaves a burnt caramel taste lingering in my mouth.

Very nice example of a RIS! Good work Saint Arnold's!

beachbum1975, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
2.95/5  rDev -32%
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.

womencantsail, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of kungpao
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to a good friend I was blessed enough to split a bottle of this amazing RIS.

A- Pitch black with a really nice chocolate mousse color soapy looking 1 and half finger head. This beer looks very nice.

S- Lots of bitter chocolates and roasted malts up front. The warmth of the from the ABV is detectable yet suddle and damn near perfectly balanced.

T- Absolute balance. I've yet to try a RIS that tasted this smooth and perfect. Bitter sweet chocolate on intial tasting, followed by a sweet complex roasted malt finish. The ABV gives me the perfect amount heat after each sip. Not as much coffee on this one as compared to some other popular RIS.

M- Thick and viscous full bodied mouthfeel on this brew. Carbonation is inbetween low and medium for the style.

D- I prefer to judge drinkability based on beer style. This is a big RIS, so obviously it wouldnt be a canidate for back to back consumption. That being said I had no problem finishing my portion and was left wanting more.

In conclusion, I will always remember this beer as being the first RIS that really blew me away. Perfect balance from start to finish. Texas is doing good things with beer and this might be one of the best.

kungpao, May 29, 2010
Photo of Beerzebub
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Dajtai007 for this!

Poured in a big wine glass at 55F.

Very very dark brown, with a film of tan froth that leaves a smattering of sticky lace. Attractive.

Aroma is rich and malty. Milk chocolate, caramel malt, light toast. Cohesive, and very nice.

Taste is extremely smooth and cohesive. Smooth caramel and milk chocolate, then deeper, darker coffee and cocoa, with some soft, smooth roastiness. A moderate level of sweetness is perfectly balanced by the roastiness. Long mocha finish.

Rich full texture, with soft, superfine carbonation. Extremely smooth, very drinkable. I enjoyed this!

Beerzebub, Apr 12, 2010
Photo of rudylaw
4.63/5  rDev +6.7%
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!

rudylaw, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of wagenvolks
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle into a Great Divide tulip ("Hops of Luck!" under the cap). Props to DonD for a great in person trade.

Pours with an inky, jet-black body--no signs of light getting through the opacity. The head slowly retreats to a thick cap of dark muddy-brown foam, creamy in its consistency as it coats the glass with impressive lace. Gingerbread cookie dough and dark raisin rum greet the nose first, followed by Baker's chocolate, vanilla-rich booze, and a tinge of stale, earthy hops. Slight oxidation in the background, but the aroma has held up nicely for a 3+ year old RIS.

Divine Reserve #5 reminds me of a less roasty Ten Fidy with more of a dark chocolate presence. With each sip, roasted malts hit the palate with a chocolate bitterness and soil. The booze is still in effect, lending a gentle warmth to the finish alongside an earthy hop profile. Velvety mouthfeel, uber-thick in the body with a silky smooth finish that counteracts the tight carbonation level and bitterness. Overall, a delectable RIS that drinks incredibly smooth for 10%...and if Saint Arnold's is reading, PLEASE MAKE DR#5 A YEARLY RELEASE!!!

wagenvolks, Feb 18, 2010
Photo of pheggeseth
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to PHawk for the trade. Poured into my Darkness Goblet.

A: pours pretty thick, jet black, quarter inch coffee colored head that dissipates quickly to a thin coating, totally opaque

S: strong chocolate with alcohol in the background, dark fruit also as it warms, with faint hop bitterness

T: strong chocolate again, with a nice roasted malt finish mixed with a bit of espresso, a little more burned finish and caramel character as it warms

M: nice carbonation, smooth, but just a little thin

D: pretty smooth, the burnt bitter aftertaste that gradually builds up limits its drinkability, a good RIS, though not really worthy of superstar status. I've got two more I plan to have in one and two year's time, so we'll see how it does then

UPDATE

Reviewed this a while back after aging it for 1.5 years.

Poured into my Surly Darkness goblet:

Smooth, dark, viscous appearance, intimidating, but enticing. Smells of dark, sweet chocolate with a little bit of coffee. Smooth roasty flavor up front, almost too much, slightly watery, alcohol well hidden. Has a very thick mouthfeel. I didn't think much of this trying it right after it's release, but after this much time, I think it's aged well.

pheggeseth, Feb 18, 2010
Photo of coldmeat23
4.72/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees
Super thanks to Deuane for this one!

This pours black. This is how it should be with a RIS, so it's starting out well. It produces a minimal head of dark brown foam. With 10.00%abv though, this is understandable. The lacing is in tiny spots and mildly sticky. The liquid leaves a slightly oily film on the glass and the lacing is sliding it.

This has a huge, malty nose, with a touch of sweetness and a lot of roastiness. There are mild hints of dark cherries. Much to my surprise, I'm getting a good level of vanilla here, also. A very light hint of licorice.

This is definitely heavy on the big, dark, roasty flavor, but it's not in a palate destroying way. It's actually smooth and quite nice. There are notes of rich, dark chocolates. There is a sweetness of dark cherries that is very nice. The vanilla notes are not as big as they were in the nose, but are still here.
This is a big, bold, beer that manages to maintain a wonderfully drinkable balance.

This one is full-bodied and viscous. It has a mild level of carbonation. This presents itself as very smooth and nicely creamy. Almost like velvet.
Wonderful.

The high abv is well-hidden. If I didn't know, I'd guess it to be in 6.5% to 7.5% range. Combine this with the wonderful flavor and balance and this is a very drinkable and enjoyable brew.
I wish I had a warehouse of this stuff.

coldmeat23, Nov 19, 2009
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.

orbitalr0x, Nov 17, 2009
Photo of waltonc
4.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to dyan for this. Classic all-around RIS. Beautiful black pour with tan head. Charred malts, molasses, bitter dark chocolate, a dash of soy sauce, and seared ribeye steak. Body is thick and heavy, perfect for a cold night; balanced against ample carbonation. A fullback-of-a-beer up there with other great mealstouts such as Abyss, Batch 7000, and Founders RIS.

waltonc, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.88/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as night. Very viscous and beautiful on the pour. A very nice cascading khaki tan head of about an inch develops right after the pour.
Smell is heavenly. Everything a big, viscous, brute of a RIS should be. Heavily roasted malts, some dark bakers chocolate, some molasses, leather and just a hint of dark fruits and alcohol. Wonderful.
Taste goes further with the flavors picked up in the smell. I would add just a hint of tobacco and just the slightest hint of faint hops. The finish has a nice roasted coffee flavor at the very back end. This is absolutely stunning. Full and viscous in the mouthfeel, a true gem.
It's a shame this was a one off, if this was made regularly I would seek it out at all costs. Very happy to have had the chance to try this one.

FtownThrowDown, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of alcstradamus
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for the great trade Damian!

Pours a menacing black color with a full finger of deep brown head that sticks around for a while before settling into a hazy film and nice collar. Great lacing. Beautiful.

Nice big roasted malt profile with some hints of sweet dark fruit, somehow a few citrus hops remaining after all this time, notes of milk chocolate and even a bit of woodiness. Nice.

Taste isn't quite as good as the nose, although it is still quite tasty. Citrus and floral hops and big malt roastiness dominate the palate. Fruit sweetness is relegated to the background, and unfortunately I'm not really picking up any of that chocolate from the nose that I was hoping for. A bit of chalky dryness is the only thing keeping this from a 4.5.

Full bodied but not quite creamy, with lots of carbonation yet very little sting. Splashes the whole mouth nicely.

Awesome beer here, if it wasn't for that chalkiness I would maybe call this world class, but how it is it is still pretty damn good.

alcstradamus, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of CoolJosh
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Kryptic for this one! A 12 oz bottle split amongst a couple of friends. This beer was poured into a scotch glass... I know, I know. It made more sense than pouring 4 oz into a full pint glass.

This is one of the sexiest looking beers I've had the pleasure to pour. Beautiful black velvet body with a seductive nesquick brown creamy head. Little to no lacing, but this beer looks incredible.

The smell is full nose. Tons of cocoa and chocolate roasts. A lot of licorice. The chocolate is of dark rich rich swiss chocolate. The roasted scents effervesce into a nonoverpowering soy sauce. An awesome burnt toffee scent really works well with this beer. One of the best smelling beers I've encountered.

The taste falls short of the scent but is still well done. The roasted chocolate malts stick out the most. Some nice 2row sweetness adds a nice caramel/toffee flavor to this beer. The mouthfeel is creamy but carbonated near perfect. This beer is much lighter then the smell eluded to, but the flavors come out well and the drinkability is on the higher end of the spectrum. Great beer!

CoolJosh, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of DeathbySexyBT
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pitch black molasses. The head is thick, firm, and persistent.

S: Roasted grains and burnt sugar. Coffee and spices (cumin or anise).

T: Big malt taste! High on the dark chocolate flavors with a definite presence of molasses. A suprisingly healthy dose of fruity hops are noticed in the finish. The alcohol becomes evident as the beer warms, but not in a turpentine sense as all of the flavors are intensified as this brew warms.

M: This is not a chugging beer, though that should go without saying. This beer has a moderately oily, viscous quality that accentuates its full body.

D: This is a limited release which is a crime because it is so damn good! Drink up and enjoy as much as you can before it is gone!

taken from notes...so if you are reading this now, then sorry, it is gone.

DeathbySexyBT, Jul 28, 2009
Photo of OlieIPA
3.95/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the last beers on this final "Tasting Tuesday"...sad face. On to the review...

A: Poured dark and thick...typical...and appeared to be forming some head until I stopped pouring. On the other hand, the lacing was amazing...sticking and looking all comfortable, just like how Victor looks and feels in my snuggie currently.

S: A strong and robust ripe cherry aroma with hints of chocolate, coffee grounds, and other dark malts. As Mauerhan indicated, this prominent fruity flavor is most likely due to the fact that this is a 3 or 4 year old beer.

T: Chocolate, caramel, and again...cherry/fruity component. Similar and/or a cross of a Founders Breakfast Stout and Kate the Great....basically, the older and slower version of the two. A solid flavor profile and somewhat intriguing as well, just nothing too crazy.

M: Gentle and perfect for style...slightly creamy and a bitter chocolate bitterness rests on the palate well after the sip.

D: A pretty good beer...but still needs a little bit more to make it an epic brew.

Overall: Not sure if I'm disappointed or happy about this beer...but it's definitely worth a try. Cheers!

OlieIPA, Jun 03, 2009
Photo of Arbitrator
4.2/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lightly chilled bottle into a glass, at a shared tasting at the Rose & Crown. Courtesy of largadeer. Thanks Chris.

A: Pours a motor oil black. By the time I arrived, it was fairly flat, so there was no head. Probably not fair to knock points off for it, but dammit, this is America.

S: Fantastic. I got a lot of dark fruits and chocolate -- discussions with the other BAs suggested chocolate should be first, but I think the warmth brought out the fig character I noted. There was also roasted malt, licorice, and a hint of bourbon, which is surprising.

T: Loaded toward the sweet side, with plums, figs, dark chocolate, and roasted malt. The latter two impart a bitterness that transitions nicely into an earthy hop flavor. The finish brings out some vanilla and a bourbon sweetness, and the whole thing brings out a boozy sting in the aftertaste.

M: Thick. Viscous. Nearly flat, but it didn't hinder the feel at all. Very thick flavor that took a while to dissipate and several cleansing rounds of water to bring the palate back to a starting point.

D: Just writing up the review makes me want to have a full bottle. If only I had one.

Arbitrator, May 28, 2009
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.

HopHead84, Apr 21, 2009
Photo of sonicdescent
4.53/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to JDW for this one as an extra!

Pours a very dark liquid with a very thin layer of mocha head/crown.

Smells fantastic, toffee, caramel, roasted malt, chocolate, cream, maybe a little vanilla.

Taste at first was solid, but unremarkable, but this leaves such a great chocolate and creamy aftertaste. Milky up front. Extremely good.

Mouth is medium to heavy in body, low to med in carbonation.

I hope to get another chance to try this great brew.

sonicdescent, Apr 14, 2009
Photo of PhxHorn
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a deep dark brown, with a very slight tan head. Smells of licorice, coffee, chocolate, and tastes as it smells, which is excellent. A hint of bourbon is in there, too. A nice blend of flavor, up there with any RIS. Mouthfeel was a little thin for a stout, closer to that of a porter. A minor quibble in the big picture. Very drinkable-- I killed this one faster than I do most RIS's. Well worth trying if you can find one.

PhxHorn, Apr 08, 2009
Photo of Damian
4.8/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 12 fl oz. bottle
Served in a snifter

Acquired in a trade with thickerfreakness

The beer poured a thick and oily absolute pitch black with a creamy, bubbly, reddish-brown head that quickly faded to a thick, lasting ring. Spotty lacing trickled down the glass.

The aroma was amazingly rich and complex. Loads of semi-sweet, smooth, dark chocolate notes. Licorice also came through strong, along with dark fruits (figs and plums). Some bourbon-like booziness was noticeable as well.

The taste was intense and quite similar to the aroma. Sweeter up front. Rich, dark chocolate notes dominated. Deep, dark, roasted (almost burnt) malts came through strong, along with some brown sugar. Bourbony and somewhat fig-like in the center. A bit reminiscent of a port wine. Strong black licorice notes appeared as well. The lingering, boozy, bitter finish was hoppy and rather piney. As the beer warmed, the hop presence became much stronger. All in all, I was amazed at how dramatically this beer changed from start to finish.

The mouthfeel was creamy and frothy. Smooth and slick on the palate. A touch short of full-bodied. Definitely not the biggest RIS, but impressive nonetheless.

Drinkability was terrific. Few Russian imperial stouts have flavor profiles this balanced and well melded. The 10% ABV was moderately noticeable but it provided a welcomed warming effect.

I can think of few beers that are as complex and as smooth as Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #5. The year-plus of aging on this bottle really seemed to work wonders. Hopefully the folks at Saint Arnold will be brewing this one again soon.

Damian, Mar 25, 2009
Photo of br3wmeister
3.9/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Big brown head with good retention and nice lacing. The beer is jet black.

S- Lots of oak and sweet bourbon up front with some chocolate and caramel notes also present. Hints of coffee light hops and a small alcohol sting.

T- Large alcohol presence masks some of the flavors, however some big malty flavors come through. Dark chocolate, and roasted barley make a good appearance with a nice dose of oak.

M- Lots of alcohol sting among this full bodied dark beer.

Overall I would say this is a pretty good beer I really liked the aromas but thought the flavor could be a little more full. A little too much of an alcohol presence in this beer IMO.

br3wmeister, Mar 22, 2009
Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #5 from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 184 ratings.