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Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #8 - Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #8Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #8

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

129 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 129
Reviews: 89
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 10.49%
Wants: 16
Gots: 23 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Saint Arnold Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  9.30% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: champ103 on 09-10-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 129 | Reviews: 89 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by roblowther:
Photo of roblowther
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Courtesy of my beer mentor, Bill.

Pours cloudy gold brown with a persistent wafer-thin (Monty Python accent implied here) head. Smells smoky and oaky. And other stuff that rhymes. Tastes rich and chocolate up front, then a strong peat finish. Very nice maltiness that makes you feel like you just ate a muffin. Makes me burp smoke and a hint of something sharp. Drinkable but the strong flavors make this an occasional treat, not a beer for the evening.

roblowther, Oct 17, 2009
More User Reviews:
Photo of brownbeer
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice looking beer. Orange with red highlights in the center and an opaque brownish color around the edges.

Sweet, caramel and raisin in the nose with an alcohol presence, honey liqueur-like with smoke and subtle raspberry fruit.

Very hearty taste and mouthfeel lets you know it's a one and done. Toasted caramel and creme brulee, it's sweet without becoming cloying. The smoke comes out as it warms as well as becoming drier.

Though not my favorite style, I thought overall this was a very solid scotch ale.

brownbeer, Jan 31, 2010
Photo of Ben7773
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Ben7773, Jan 21, 2014
Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

SmellsofMahagony, Apr 12, 2013
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my 300th Texas rate. Shared by someone at the most recent Freetail bottle release party. The beer pours a copper color with a white head. The aroma is very malty. I get a lot of very sweet toffee as well as a little bit of alcohol. The flavor is more of the same. The alcohol and sweet, sugary malt really stand out. There is also some nice dark fruit notes with some figs and cherries. Smooth and easy to drink. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. This beer is about two years old but has held up very nicely.

Mora2000, May 22, 2011
Photo of LGB362
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

LGB362, Mar 14, 2014
Photo of whoneeds8
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a deep amber with a one finger off white head. No lacing. I know this is going to sound strange, but it smells a little like fresh leather. The taste doesn't quite have the "punch" I'd expect from a DR. It's good, but not great. I notice hints of Ginger on the palatte. There's a nice sweet sugary aftertaste. But again, nothing special. I've had other top Wee Heavy's and this one doesn't dare compete. Hopefully it'll age well, but this one just isn't up to par.

whoneeds8, Sep 12, 2009
Photo of rudylaw
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received as an extra from pswoldier! Poured into my Shoreline pint glass on this chilly day.

Pours a brownish/orangey color with a fluffy head. That turns into a small rim.

Smells like Brach's caramel, toasted bread and a dash of vanilla.

Tastes the same but not as good as I hoped. I get a dash of sponge during the finish. There is some stickiness to this, and it has nice carbonation, but this misses the mark compared to some of the other wee heavies out there. Still, St. Arnold's is a brewery worth investigating and I look forward to trying more from them.

rudylaw, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of pwoods
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. brown bottle poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours a deep amber brown, murky with lots of sediment. Big 2 finger head with good retention and some lacing.

S: Rich malts with only a touch of sweetness. Plenty of woody and smoky aromas, maybe some peat behind it all.

T/M: More of the rich malts. Lots of wood and smoke and peat. No hops to speak of. Body is medium full with nice carbonation.

D: ABV is pretty well hidden but definitely there. The big smoke and peat get to ya toward the end. Interesting but not something I'll return to.

pwoods, Feb 18, 2010
Photo of jbphoto88
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I still don't get the screw cap on this bottle, especially when they are tightened so much that you need an opener or gorilla grip anyway. The 8 pours a deep caramelized brown with orange and ambers. The head is thin and tan and if you look away you'll miss it. The liquid seems thick and is on the hazy murky side of things.

Nose is gritty and slightly boozy that dominates the smell. Beyond that there is a scents of ripe fruits, caramelized grains and a smoked chocolate. I feel that this one could still use some time in the cellar to mellow that booze scent and let the other characteristics mature.

Ok the taste brings this beer back in from the ledge. Sweet grains that are gently toasted mixed with over ripe but still tasty cantaloupe. A thin shroud of peat smoked grains finish the brew and yield another great layer of flavor. I can't be sure but I also get a cayenne peppery note that compliments a light chocolaty flavor.

The mouthfeel is smooth and slick but with a flattering bittering hops and crisp carbonation. The beer has a nice feel to it and is well balanced between sweet and smoke. Well done and probably going to even better after a few months in the cellar.

jbphoto88, Sep 23, 2009
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Saw Billy Mays selling this stuff and just had to get some. 6th bottle was free!

Pours a suprisingly clear amber/ruby color with a large easy forming light tan head that retains well and leaves nice lacing.

Nose is huge with chocolate and peat. A little bit of smoke, and sweet malt rears its head as well.

Hmmm. Very nice, but not as nice as the nose indicated. Big notes of peat are the first thing i notice, as they are prominent all the way through. Straight up geese in the bog type shit. Large chocolate flavors are also there and mingle with some smoke and nutty sweetness. The finish is smooth and creamy, and leaves peat and sweet malt lingering on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is pretty damn good. Nice and viscous without being soup. Carbonation is a touch low, but i like that in a beer of this kind. Good slick creamy finish.

Drinkability is actually pretty solid. The abv is not noticeable at first, but does put a good kick of warmth into the stomach as it settles. Could put down a couple of these without issue though.

Overall this is a very nice wee heavy. They really nailed the scotch ale flavors, and turned them all up a notch with this imperial sort of variety. Seems like it would be great with a year or two of age on it as well. NOTE TO SAINT ARNOLD. PLEASE AGE THIS IN SOME BOURBON BARRELS!!! I think this beer would truly be something special if it were properly aged in bourbon barrels. A fine beer as is though, excellent example of the style. And big thanks to Austin's Executive chef of the future, stopbarking for the bottles.

PUT IT IN BOURBON BARRELS!!!

AKBelgianBeast, Nov 06, 2009
Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice drinker for the style.A good change of pace, early in a tasting. Some decent yeast, nice malt job. Still I could not not drink pint after pint. Thanks to the legend, bullseye11. Big head, decent carbonation complementing abve averaeg mouthfeel. A bit of tabacco, finishes on the slightly sweet side of sweet spice.

Sammy, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of augustgarage
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Obtained in trade from JosephLondon (thanks!). Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Gordon Highland thistle. Bottle is only 3 or 4 months old.

Translucent carnelian body with a creamy finger of beige/buff foam receding by half to a dense persistent cap. Sandy blankets of lacing are cut through by thin teardrops.

Malty aromatics with walnuts or maybe brazil nuts, and a faint whisp of smoke. The caramelization is similar to diacetyl with brown butter and English cream notes.

Weak tea with honey, old books, fresh cream, and barley on the palate. Low hops but also surprisingly low esters (just a hint of bergamot). Mild dry finish with lingering nutty malt.

Flacid, milky, medium-full bodied mouthfeel. Alcohol is almost invisible.

The flavor profile is a little delicate if not shallow, but none the less, hews close to style. Cellaring might improve this a bit...

augustgarage, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Blue Point snifter.

A: Vigorous pour yields a 1.25 finger coarse, light cream colored head that evaporates into a thin layer quickly. Beer is a cloudy reddish-clay. Lacing is near non-existent.

S: Boozy, caramel, brown sugar, slight maple syrup. Nose is thin but robust at the same time. It's very filling if you can describe a smell like that.

T: Sweet maple syrup and caramel upfront. A clearly spicy transition into more booziness. Malt profile is very strong here. A slight bit of grapes or prunes or some sort of fresh ripe fruit is detectable. No hop flavor to be found.

M: Medium bodied, coarse and carbonated. Wet in the mouth and very watery at the finish. Aftertaste is messy and sweet, slightly sticky.

D: An enjoyable beer but for once, the malt profile is a bit strong for me even for the style. A syrupy aftertaste doesn't help either. Body is good though and fits the flavors that the beer is trying to express. I'd have this again but personally, I'd like something a little heavier on the booze and bit lighter on the malts.

SpeedwayJim, Jan 28, 2010
Photo of prototypic
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Many thanks to JosephLondon for the bottle.

This 8th installment of the Divine Reserve series is a copper color that leans red. It's much hazier than I would've expected. Light gives it a really nice scarlet tint. A vanilla colored head stands on top and rises to just over a finger. It dissipates to a surface covering quickly, but held firm there for a while. Lacing was stick and moderate.

The nose is good, but is a little lacking in strength. It's very sweet and malty smelling. Caramel and toffee scents are very strong throughout. Brown sugar is definitely noted. Yeast is fairly strong in the mix. It has a subtle, fruity scent. Plum is noted. But, there's some evidence of dark grapes, as well. Nevertheless, it's far from vinous. Alcohol is buried. I'm not getting anything at all there.

The flavor is a step below the nose in terms of quality. Not by much, but it's true. This is pretty good beer. But, it is very sweet. The centerpiece is obviously caramel malts. It has such a strong, sweet caramel/toffee flavor that it's not far from overbearing. Brown sugar is prevalent. Fruit flavors add some depth, but do little to counter the strong sweet flavor. Plum and dark grape flavors are flavorful and work well with the malts. Maybe it just needs a little less malt. I don't know. It's a little yeasty on the tail. Alcohol is blended very well. I would've never guessed it's over 9% abv. It finishes sweet. Surprise!

Divine Reserve #8 has a medium-full body that feels thicker with each passing sip. It's nice and smooth, but not quite creamy. Carbonation seems light and just about right. Drinkability is above average. This really isn't bad beer at all, but it's very sweet. I think one bottle will be plenty for me tonight. It's also rather strong at 9.3%.

Saint Arnold has a track record of releasing great beer in the Divine Reserve series. The 8th release is good, but doesn't quite stack up to some of the best in the series. Its biggest fault is that it's too sweet, at least for me. It's still pretty good beer, but would be better with a little less of a sugar blast. Since it probably won't be brewed again, my constructive commentary is probably useless. It's worth a try if you have the opportunity, but the Divine Reserve series has seen far better releases.

prototypic, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was shared at a local tasting. Taken from notes.

Nice golden orange with a nice ring of head.

Sweet in the nose with some dried fruits.

The taste follows the nose with a creamy finish.

The feek of this beer is creamy as hell.

This is one drinkable brew with a nice luxurious feel.

RomaniIteDomum, Jun 04, 2010
Photo of jheezee
4/5  rDev +2.3%

jheezee, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of PretzelCity
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to TexasStout for sending this along as an extra.
A- A cloudy, golden mahogany with a one finger head
S- Sweet, lightly roasted malt, some smoked peat, hint of chocolate and booze
T- Light smokey flavor that blends well with the sweet malt, not overpowering.
M- Medium body, a little syrupy, barleywine-esque , slight heat in the finish.
D-Rich, complex and very drinkable. Excellent beer.

PretzelCity, Dec 16, 2009
Photo of nickd717
3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle via trade.

Pours a clear medium reddish-amber color with a small off-white head that fades before too long.

Aroma is smoky and a little rubbery with some sweet malt.

Flavor is smoky and peaty with caramel malt and toffee. A little sweet but not terribly so.

Smooth on the palate with medium-full body.

About average for the style, maybe a little better.

nickd717, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of Beertracker
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

SADR#8 pours up with a modest carbonation that creates a low, thin creamy beige colored head that's barely sustainable above the chestnut brown-russet body. The clarity suffers from some serious chill-haze, but becomes brighter as it warms. The rich, sweet caramel aroma showcases an abundant maltiness with hints of roasted chestnuts, toffee bits, treacle & figgy pudding compiled by some wonderful brandied fruitcake notes. There's just a hint of leafy earthiness, spicy hops & peat bog smokiness that emerges as the beer warms in hand along with an intermingly of whisky notes & some oxidation that adds to the overall complexity. This malt forward beer is dominated by an inherent spiciness that seems foreign to me for the style. It's not a bad thing, just unexpected? The flavor continues to develop with some additional toastiness followed by quite a bit of fruitiness (plum preserves, raisin pie, ripened fig) then becomes sweeter before being undercut by the kettle hops that creates a lingering, bittersweet, spicy warming finish. This medium-full bodied Wee Heavy has a nice creaminess, but could use a bit more carbonation (even per style) and it thins out to much towards the middle-end. I must confess that I was maybe expecting a bit more from this one, yet I find solace in this malty tipple on a long, cold winter's night. Here's to the barley blessings of Saint Arnold!

Sláinte! Beertracker

Beertracker, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of JamLand
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

JamLand, Jun 26, 2013
Photo of alleykatking
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a murky looking orangeish brown color. One finger light tan head that sticks around for a slight while. Light watery lacing that slides back into the glass.

S- Nice smokey aroma to this....not overpowering but just a light smokey smell throughout the entire aroma. Some light dark fruits in this as well. Some toffee malts in this and light caramel malts as well.

T- This comes out kicking with a semi-sweet caramel and toffee malts. There is a light darker fruits in the middle of the taste. Some smokey tastes throughout the entire beer but stronger in the backend with a light blast of alcohol.

M- Light medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is a little on the light side. Big caramel malts left on the palate with some smokey alcohol in the aftertaste. Some heavy drying on the palate with this beer. Tastes blend together perfectly with no off flavors or stand out flavor.

D- This was a interesting beer that I must say I enjoyed a whole lot. A great take on a flavorful beer. I wish I had some more of this to sit on...great now but I feel in a year it will be divine (no pun intended).

alleykatking, Apr 19, 2010
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep copper color ale with a large foamy head with OK retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of sweet caramelized malt is dominating with light toffee notes and some lingering smoke. Taste is sweeter then expected with loads of caramelized malt and sweet toffee with a light smoky finish. Body is quite full with limited filtration and good carbonation with no signs of alcohol. Well done though a bit sweet for my taste - bonus point for the smoke notes thought.

Phyl21ca, Nov 02, 2009
Photo of Icehalo
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Icehalo, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of hoppymcgee
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Chris for this wonderful extra. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Trois Pistoles goblet.

A: Pours a caramel color with little to no head, but you can tell there's carbonation that settles down to decadent swirls.

S: Smoke, tobacco, malts, and woodchips. A little bit of a toffee aroma in the background.

T: Complex. A little hoppy, caramelly, and smoky. Mostly sweet all the way through, but not cloying as there's a little bitterness from the chocolate/coffee aspect to the beer.

M: The best feature of this beer. If this beer had an oily or slick mouthfeel I would not like it. It's got great "tight" carbonation that you can feel on the tongue.

D: Pretty easygoing for 9.3% ABV. Maybe I'm just used to drinking stronger beers now? Who knows, but I definitely haven't had too many of this style.

Overall, another goodie from Saint Arnold's "Divine" series. Still seeking out the earlier Reserves!

hoppymcgee, Mar 14, 2010
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Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #8 from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 129 ratings.