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Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #8 - Saint Arnold Brewing Company

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

91 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 91
Hads: 138
Avg: 3.9
pDev: 14.1%
Wants: 15
Gots: 24 | 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:
Beer added by: champ103 on 09-10-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
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Reviews: 91 | Hads: 138
Photo of Severdali
4.93/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009? or 2008 bottle drank 2014

I had yet to drink a St Arnold beer that really impressed me but this aged one did it and went way over the top

Chewy and heavy with beautiful apricot and date flavors covering the palate with a mild boozy taste as well, but oh so mild. I am typing this from memory so I don't remember what else I was smelling but I do remember the bouquet kept revealing something new and interesting.

The bouquet and taste of this aged beer are skies and seas of taste.

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Photo of John_M
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to Twiggamortis420 for the opportunity to sample this great beer.

Divine 8 puors a slight hazy, mahogany amber color with very good head retention and considerable sticky lacing. The nose in this beer is terrific, showing caramel, brown sugar, toffee, milk chocolate and orange citrus. Flavors replicate the nose pretty closely in this fairly sweet ale, but this beer is so well balanced, the sweetness never seems overdone or heavy on the palate. Mouthfeel is rich and full,with a long finish. Drinkability is amazing for a beer with this abv., as despite the sweetness and noticeable alcohol, each sips makes you want to take another. Interestingly, although I thought this beer well balanced and oh so very light on its feet, there's not even a hint of bitterness. That's how well the hops are integrated into the recipe.

Really liked this one... excellent stuff.

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Photo of bshirley
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A few months after being initially available. Decanted from bottle, a dark hazy copper to medium brown color. Quite a bit of yeast left in the last ounce. Nice head with medium to fine bubbles.

The nose has a whiff of strong alcohol and is yeasty.

Has a sweet taste with currant and smokey flavor, balanced but not overpowering bittering hops. The smoke flavor lingers. A medium full mouthfeel, with some alcohol heat, and velvety bubbles.

Extremely drinkable and tasty on this cool evening.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another new one in the line, glad I can say I have actually had all of these, now we get to number 8 and one of my favorite styles. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 12/09/2009.
The pour was near perfect with a deep, dark brown that had loads of ruby highlights on the bottom of the glass. Nice two inch head of tan that capped it off nearly perfectly, leaving behind tons of lacing all over the sides of the glass. Rich aroma, earthy malts, touches of grain and floral notes. Warming brings out caramel, lots of sweet notes. Really nicely done here, as I take the first sip I remark as to how thick the feel is on this one, very full and rich, really let the flavor sit on the tongue. Hints of heather overlap a rich malty sweetness. Light touch of hops at the end, but quickly erased by another bout of rich sweet caramel flavor as well as a nice touch of bready flavor. Smooth, even finish and well hidden ABV profile made this one go down much easier then I would have thought.
Overall this was very solid. Great representation of the style and really just finely crafted ale all around. One of the better versions of the style and would be glad to have this one again any day.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.37/5  rDev +12.1%
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.


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Photo of Viggo
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, huge thanks to GregMcQ for hooking me up once again.

Pours a cloudy very dark orange/amber, some brownish highlights, thin off white head forms, slowly settles settles to a thin ring around the glass, a few small spots stick.

Smell is very sweet and fruity, caramel, raisin puree, light peat and smokiness, very earthy, dates, touch of chocolate sweetness, woody, toffee pudding, brown sugar, a bit of alcohol, quite nice.

Taste is nice as well, biscuity, toffee, bread, brown sugar, wood, peat and smoke, lots of raisin, very fruity and caramelized, brown sugar, earth, honey dates, light chocolate wafer dryness in the finish, some alcohol, nice and malty.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with medium carbonation, maybe a little too lively for the style. Some warmth going down, real nice malt character and I really like the peat. Thanks Greg!!

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Photo of DeathbySexyBT
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let me preface this review by saying a few things. First, I typically do not care too much for Scotch Ales. I just find them to be a 'dime a dozen' and have struggled to find one that set itself apart from the crowd (in a good way). Second, I have been telling myself for so long to temper my expectations because there will never be another #5 (Prove me wrong, guys...please!) and I know I do not care for the style.

A: Tan head that went the way of Old Yeller all too quickly. Dark and cloudy like a leather storm cloud.

S: Dark oily cigar notes with a dose of toffee and burnt sugars to add to the nose. Fruity esthery aromas seem just out of reach, but you can almost tell they are there. What a tease.

T: That cigar smokiness is here in good measure. It is important to note here that this is very reminiscient of cigar smoke to me; not BBQ nor Liquid Smoke as I seem to keep running into with other beers. Cocoa, coffee, and toffee all make appearances here as the beer warms. There is almost an herbal finish to this. No real hop presence to speak of, which is fine. The beer is tasty enough without them.

M: You would never guess that this is a 10% beer by the taste of it. Sure it is a little boozy, but I have tasted bigger booze out of 8%s on more than one occasion. Smooth and easy going. Spot on with the body and bubbles.

D: I would drink this 'til the cows come home if it weren't so hard to come by.

I cannot wait to see how this ages. A buddy and I have a sixer in the cellar as of last night.

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Photo of grub
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Viggo brought this one over. thanks eric!

12oz bottle. sampled oct 29/09.

pours hazy light brown, fading to orange at the edges. the thin layer of fine tan head quickly fades to a ring around the glass and leaves a bit of spotty lace.

aroma is good. caramel and toffee. hint of smoke. big biscuit and multi-grain bread malt. light alcohol. bit of toast. earthy and a bit woody. light candied fruit, more leaning to citrus than dark fruit.

taste is great. nice mellow smokey presence. bit of dark chocolate. caramel and toffee. bit of butterscotch. biscuit and multi-grain bread. lightly warming alcohol. woody. slightly earthy. just a hint of dark fruit, but pretty mellow. low bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. medium-large body, but with a fairly dry finish. slightly prickly medium carbonation - i'd have liked something a little mellower.

drinkability is good. good balance. just the right amount of smokey character so that it compliments without dominating. great depth. a tasty wee heavy.

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Photo of maximum12
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to TexasStout for shooting me a couple bottles of this brew. Cleaning out the dark corners of the beer fridge this weekend, not sure why I've let a scotch ale sit so long; they're one of my wife's favorite styles, & this has been a good series to date. Without further ado.

Pour is muddied liquid caramel, blending in like camo into the new leather couches in my man-cave. Sweet caramel also leaks into my nose, along with toffee, alcohol, & the barest beginnings of oxidation.

Divine Reserve #8 is a blast of flavor. The frequently mentioned caramel is coating every other taste, of which there are several. Toffee adds to the Candy Store circus, along with notes of dark, shrively fruits; figs, raisins, dried apples, prunes. Waiting behind the curtains patiently is a whiff of forest fire, too, a most unexpected taste that serves to parry the sweetness & keep is from cloying up the senses. A heavy, darkish brew that's appropriately somber & makes me want to drink it all night.

A worthy addition to the Reserve series, & an excellent beer overall. In the firmament of scotch ales, #8 can hold its head high in the most highly regarded company.

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Photo of champ103
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I just opened a bottle 06/08/10. I usually drink a special beer before I travel for work (not uncommonly around the world). I added this way back when, and enjoyed it on tap. Lets see how the bottle version has held up after about 9 months.

A: Pours a hazy orange/brown color. A two finger beige head forms with excellent retention. Rings of sticky lace are left behind.
S: Smoke, dry wood, and lots of dark fruits. Chocolate covered cherries and plums. A light oxidation. Oh ya, the aroma has developed nicely.
T: Lots of dry wood and peaty smoke flavors that I love. Dark fruits of cherries and plums that follow the nose. Light toffee flavors. I love it.
M/D: A full body that is incredibly creamy, smooth, and velvety. Very dry as well. Really easy to sip on. A great beer as a night cap.

I would say that I really enjoyed this on tap. Though this is exceptional out of the bottle. This has improved a ton over the last several months. If you still have some bottles, this is excellent right now. Well done Saint Arnold.

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Photo of teamhex
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I'm going to start by throwing my opinion out there. This beer is way over-rated and priced. That being said, its a great beer. A friend of mine drove all over town to find a 6pk of this stuff. After paying $17(with tax) for a 6pk I was thinking it was going to be the best beer iv ever had. It fell short in that respect, but is still a really good beer.

It pours an amber like brown color
The smell is good, its a light smell with hints of toffee. Maybe some roasted or smokey notes as well.
The taste is a nice sweet malt with some spices.

Great beer, outrageous hype though. I love the brewery, but they should really release more of this stuff.

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Photo of pwsoldier
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours deep, cloudy mahogany with a creamy off-white head that dissipates fairly quickly. Lacing is scant.

S - Very malty, as expected. Notes of raisins, plum, and a hint of cinnamon make the nose very complex and enticing.

T - Notes of alcohol and spice come through up front, followed quickly by a heavy yet smooth sweetness that carries over into the finish. Notes of dark fruit are the most dominant, with a hint of vanilla coming through as well.

M - Full-bodied with a heavy, sweet finish.

D - It's a bit of a whopper, but quite enjoyable. I'll definitely be having more in the future though. I have a few more bottles set aside to age.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From augustgarage, a super kick-ass extra. Thanks, buddy!

I am not really too familiar with scotch ales. I was into them for a while before I really got into craft (I drank a number of Smuttynose Scotch Ales before I knew what Smuttynose was... amazing how little one can pay to what they're drinking). I just went for the one with the flower on it. I remember liking them, too. Well, here we go.

A- Into a standard pint (damn you, broken snifter!). This is a rich, dirty penny copper with minimal off-white, buttercream head. A bit of swirling and it looks very nice.

S- Rich caramel... butterscotch, and, well, scotch. Mildly smoky, as well... but it's damn faint.

T- Scotch! Peat smoke, the sweetness of the whiskey comes through, as does a mild vanilla I'd expect to find in a bourbon barrel beer. Heavenly taste on this one.. I'm impressed. There's a mild pipe tobacco or wet cigar taste that is different from the peat smoke notes... this one has some complexity on it.

M- Nice, thick, slow-moving, yet fairly carbonated. Pretty much spot on... not really my style of expertise but I'm pleased at the balance of this one. Alcohol is there... except in a good, flavorful way. I love beers that embrace instead of mask the alcohol notes. Very good.

D- Moderate, but very good. I'd have another if I had one. I'd buy a bunch of this if I was in its distribution area. As it stands, this is an excellent beer and one that I'm glad I got to try. Totally unsolicited, but a home run. Don't you love it when it works out like that?

Thanks, augustgarage!

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Photo of peterjk
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Cloudy brown, light brown head is thin and fades quickly.

S: Smokey notes, fresh cut sweet apple, Belgian yeast notes, wet earth, toasted nuts. Not a huge amount of sweetness on the nose, which is interesting given how sweet the beer tastes.

T: Awesome! Smokey, toffee, brown sugar, toasted nuts, creamy cola. Some mild yeast flavor. Lots of great flavors floating around in this beer. Like any great beer the taste evolves as it warms up. I've had it in the bottle (malt character dominates) and on tap (yeasty notes make it taste like a wee heavy / Belgian double combination).

M: Big time small bubble carbonation make it feel kind of like champagne in the mouth. It's a little thin considering the big flavor.

D: Given the intense flavors and the sweetness this beer is very easy to drink, too bad it'll be gone soon.

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Photo of Fnord
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Dark red with a thin tan head.

Smell - Caramel, chocolate, alcohol, smoke, peat, coffee, and a bit of pine.

Taste - The alcohol and especially the smoke come out a lot. A bit of butterscotch and raisin as well.

Mouthfeel - Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Drinkability - Pretty strong, but it's still pretty drinkable.

Notes - The strength of the smokiness sets it apart from your average wee heavy. A unique take on an underappreciated style. Nice!

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Photo of gford217
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle courtesy of EinWeizenbitte.

Pours a murky caramel brown with a healthy cream-colored head that recedes pretty quickly and leaves only spotty lacing.

The aroma is extremely sweet with a healthy dose of smoke. The caramel malts and dark fruits dominate with toffee as well. But lingering in the back is the smoked wood and peat that makes the nose more complex than most in the style.

The taste is just as complex with an initial blast of sweetness - molasses, caramel, toffee and raisins. The finish is much drier than I was expecting with some oak, smoked malts and peat.

The mouthfeel is extremely smooth overall but with a light dryness mentioned before. The carbonation is moderate but seems softer.

This is an excellent Scotch ale that has a very intriguing smokey element that adds some complexity that I don't normally get in the style. It's also very drinkable, as evidenced by the fact that the alcohol is non-existent to me. Another Divine Reserve, another winner.

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Photo of Sweasty
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The newest Divine Reserve pours a murky brown. Things are topped off by a short khaki head. The head quickly dissipates to a ring. Plenty of lacing is left down the glass.

The aroma does not disappoint. The nose packs plenty of sweet caramel and toffee. There are some light fruity esters. A bit of smoky peat and earthiness round things out.

The taste packs a wallop. Tons of caramel malt upfront. Caramel blends in with some sticky toffee notes. Raisins show up mid palate. Thats followed by some light chocolate notes notes. Plenty of sweet brown sugar shows up near the end. The finish is sweet with a lingering earthy/peat quality.

This beer is full bodied and velvety on the tongue. The carbonation is more than adequate.

This is another topnotch addition to the Divine Reserve series. It is one of the best scotch ales i have had the pleasure of drinking. It goes down smooth. Quite the easy drinker, especially given its strength.

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Photo of Spineypanda
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer by far beats the divine #9!

Pours a cloudy brown, and the carbonation lasts only a few seconds and leaves a nice little head that dissipates quickly.
Smells of sweets and some lightly toasted malts and barley.
Tastes like any scotch ale I have had but 10 times that, strong spicy and malty flavor, with a bit of that sweetness on the back of the tongue.
Has a bit of carbonation but not a whole lot, which is good in this style of beer.

MUCH better than #9. Wish I had a whole six pack!

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this brew from whoneeds8 for winning SNF Squares Week 13. Thanks Maston!

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

Murky red/amber color with a beige head that thinned out after a few minutes.
Aroma is sweet caramel malt.
Taste is very good, sweet and malty with some roasted malt flavor midway through until the lip smaking sweet finish.
Full bodied with a creamy feel.
It's drinkable but at over 9% abv, watch out.

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Photo of drunkboxer1
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Hazy copper/brown. Smells sweet, almost like brown sugar. Tastes like caramel, a little smokey maybe. There are some dark fruity flavors in there as well. No real hop bitterness that I can tell, the maltiness may just be kicking its ass so bad I can't tell its there. Drinks absurdly easy for over nine percent. I feel like it'll be better with a few more months aging though.

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Photo of SirSketch
4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy reddish brown color with a thin ring of off-white head with consistent lacing.

S - Bold and complex malt aroma. Moderately smokey. Alcohol comes through just slightly. Definitely a malt bomb.

T - More smokiness. Very sweet malt taste with only a minimal amount of hop character that disappears quickly. Some caramel as well and perhaps some toasted oats (think hot oatmeal). I really love the smoke character. Warming on the way down, but not overtly alcoholic.

M - Medium to full body with a sticky mouth. Very slightly more carbonated than should be. All around a great beer.

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Photo of WorldWideStout
4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received as an extra in trades with Ezekiel81923 and JJFoodie. Thanks to Ryan and Justin, I can have one now and see what another year does to the brew as well!

A: Looks a lot like apple cider. Murky brownish-orange body, with a white head that only lasted a few seconds.

S: A gentle, yet pervasive smokiness is what greets my nostrils first. There's a little bacon in it, but it's mostly smoky in the way a campfire smells. Behind it is tangy fruit - lemons, apples, and (dare I put it in the same sentence?), oranges. There is a slight note of chocolate at the end.

T: Begins with a more sweet fruit flavor of apples. Then towards the middle tanginess comes in, along with a similar smoke to the nose and some chocolate, which I didn't get until halfway through the bottle. As this wanes, the sweeter flavors creep back in. The aftertaste is a bit of the smokiness, which lingers for five to ten seconds.

M: Nothing special, but lets the flavor shine through.

D: Gut. Beer is balanced and tasty. 9.3 % abv, eh? Feels like 5 or 6.

A tasty, somewhat unique beer. Not as complex as it could be, but the flavors meld together well. I hope other breweries experiment with combining smoky and fruity flavors.

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle from the cellar poured in to a cervoise.

Appearance: Pours a turgid, yeasty orange, full of suspended particulates and swirls or color. It's near opaque except when exposed to direct light, and isn't the most attractive hue at either time. A mildly vigorous pour yielded a little shy of one finger of fawn head with a very short shelf life - after fifteen seconds, all that remains is a soapy collar and some streaks and drips of tan lace. I imagine it probably looked a little nicer fresh, so I can't fault it too much.

Aroma: A very light, fruity wee heavy. Hints of warm, grainy malts are strong up front, showcasing toffee and caramel in a sweet way, but also bright citrus, apricot, and floral notes linger not far behind. It's rounded and fairly balanced, too - perhaps another result of the aging.

Taste: Similar to the aroma in many ways, which is something to be admired. A mild, "old hop" bitterness - sort of like a very well-aged barleywine showcases, that's a little spicy, slightly herbal, and all around refined - mingles with the slew of fruity notes and moderately roasted malts that are mentioned above: toffee and tropical fruits, caramel and almost tart citrus, apricot and butterscotch. No hint of alcohol heat allows the hop spiciness to steal the show. Quite an old broad here.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, slick even, with low carbonation that does its job without overreaching. The lack of aggressive effervescence really does a service to that old hop spiciness I mentioned above, making it the sole "abrasive" (for lack of a better word) element in the profile of this beer, flavor or feel. The lack of crispness also sits well with the amount of residual sugar in this one - neither cloying in its sweetness and heaviness, nor bland in its dryness and stillness.

Drinkability: I quite enjoyed this beer, as a matter of fact. Dignified but not crusty, this one still has some oomph to it, and shows it off nicely. The 9.3% abv is nowhere to be tasted and barely anywhere to be felt, and the favors and aromas balanced nicely. This one really hit the spot on a cold winters Sunday, and it's a shame I only had this single bottle.

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Photo of Onslow
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

9/11/09 9:20am, purchased at Kroger, already chilled! another release another mad dash, but i opted for the one sixer this year.. . Pours a dark murky brown.. . fantastic medium strength head, looks great .. . smell is of plum, sweet alcohol, light burnt wood, and sweet molasses .. . wow, has quite a bite, should age wonderfully on that note.. . interesting blend of flavours, from rum to molasses and more plum/smoke .. . quite nice, ranges in many different directions.. . some time should do this well.. . i preferred #4 by a mile but this is still cool..

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Photo of brownbeer
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #8 from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 91 ratings.