Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #8 - Saint Arnold Brewing Company
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Ratings: 129 | Reviews: 89 | Display Reviews Only:
2.8/5 rDev -28.4%
12 Oz. Bottle - picked up a 6 pack at a local Krogers on my way home from work. While the Divine Reserve series hype was certainly warranted for Divine Reserve 5 and Divine Reserve 6, I am of the personal opinion that 7 was certainly a let down, and 8 is as well.
A- The beer pours a very plain amber / brown with almost no carbonation and no head after a strong pour. While the beer's appearance wasn't so bad that I would consider it horrible, it was quite plain and in my opinion below average for the style.
S- What smell? Smells like the Saint Arnold house yeast to me. I was expecting to pick up slight hints of peat, tobacco, carmel, or sweet tea... but I got nothing. The smell is missing!
T- Well... it tast like a full bodied brown ale with some very slight hints of chocolate or tea... and maybe a slight hint of vanilla and tobacco. What I would consider average for the style.
M- Average for the style - not earth shattering. Full as I expected.
D- I may give the rest of the 6 pack away and just go buy some Old Chub if I want a solid Scotch / Wee Heavy this fall / winter.
Overall - SA did a great job getting their "Army" moving. The hype was created. The masses bought it up. Good for them. Nice to see local breweries making it. However, this beer is all hype and nothing that I would go out of my way to try again or trade for.
09-12-2009 21:19:46 | More by rsawyer
3.2/5 rDev -18.2%
The last of the (new to me, anyway) DR series beers.
A: The pour is a dark orange color with a thin off-white head.
S: Sweet malts, vanilla, caramel, raisins, oranges, and peat on the nose. A fairly standard nose for the style; good but not overwhelming.
T: The peat character is much more dominant on the flavor than I would have expected from the nose. A moderate level of sweetness in the form of caramel malts and citrus fruits. Some light fruitiness, in addition to the citrus notes.
M: The body is medium with a fairly lively, but medium, carbonation.
D: Not quite as good as the previous Wee Heavy in the series, unfortunately. Actually, toward the bottom in terms of my enjoyment of the DR beers.
09-27-2010 05:18:57 | More by womencantsail
3.25/5 rDev -16.9%
Received this bottle froma friend last night.
The nose had something interesting./ Could not pinpoint it. Did not know if I was turned off or if I like the smell. Gave it middle of the road since I was as well.
The colors were a deepcaramel brownish color.
The taste- I could definitely taste the smokey peat that was in the beer. I can say with confidence I am not a fan of the smokey peat. I know its part of the style and this beer seems to be dead on.
The mouthfeel. Creamy slow sipper of a beer. Carbonation was good
I am glad I tried this. It has put me on the fence though of buying a sixer or not. I would like to revist this one in about a year and in about 2 years to compare the differences. A solid brew that does not have any difficulties being a scotch ale. If you like this style jump on it.
09-11-2009 16:35:01 | More by BgThang
3.25/5 rDev -16.9%
I received this as an extra in a recent trade with BelgianBeerGal. Thanks a lot Amy!
Pours a dark amber/chestnut color with dark golden orange hues when held to a light source and a thin foamy yellowish beige head that immediately fades into a thin lasting ring. Minimal spots of lacing left behind.
Sweet malt aroma with hints of caramel, toffee, biscuit, alcohol and dark fruit. I'm picking up raisin, fig and plum in the nose as well as a very faint smokey character and subtle spice. Smells more like a barleywine.
Medium bodied with some soft carbonation up front that lingers over the sweet, leathery malt body into a sweet, slightly warm finish. Very sweet with earthy, leathery malts that give off hints of toffee, biscuit, caramel and rye. Lots of alcohol sweetness but not to hot with a prominent dark fruit flavor. Hints of raisin, fig, grape, plum and dark berries. As in the aroma, there is a slight spice character with a decent amount of pepper.
Overall, this looks and tastes like a tamed down, overly spicy barleywine. There's a prominent dark fruit presence that balances things a bit but this beer is a bit harsh despite it's sweetness.
02-16-2011 04:08:16 | More by corby112
3.28/5 rDev -16.1%
This beer pours very little head with almost zero retention and an amber color.
Smell is of some dark raisins and a slight bit of pale chocolate. However, a distinctive solventy smell starts to linger and messes everything up. As the beer warms up, a dinstinctive smokiness comes through
Taste is a little bit hot from the alcohol, but the dark crystal and bit of dark fruits with a slight hint of pale chocolate malt really meld nicely. Also a good bit of smokiness comes through as the beer warms.
Mouthfeel is somewhat dry, but the beer is very malty.
My biggest issue with this beer is the solventy nose and the fusel alcohols. I think that this could be a much better beer if it was aged longer. My suggestion to anyone who has this beer is to age it for at least 2 years.
10-11-2009 03:55:40 | More by jasonjlewis
3.3/5 rDev -15.6%
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.
07-20-2010 17:11:04 | More by nickd717
3.35/5 rDev -14.3%
Thanks to Mhewes for this extra. Had it on 11/19, from notes.
Pours between brown and dark ruby into my tulip. Orangey and red around the edges, a nice color. Spotty lacing after a good sized light tan head.
Smells of lightly toasted malts, werther's caramel candies. Hearty biscuits fresh out of the oven. Light campfire smoke and some alcohol as it warmed. Rich toffee and marzipan. A dash of vanilla extract.
Tastes of rich caramel, moderate complexity - overall considerably sweet. Alcohol is apparent as well as rich malts described in the aroma. Good, bordering creamy mouthfeel which is nice and expected for style. Very rich and gets to be a bit cloying after a while. One and done, but a nice effort overall.
11-26-2009 19:12:46 | More by Ineedabeerhere
3.4/5 rDev -13%
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.
01-03-2010 20:19:31 | More by rudylaw
3.45/5 rDev -11.8%
Appearance: Starts out as one of those beers that is all head but as I gauge the pour, the beer delivers a murky amber color with a creamy beige head that leaves a nice pattern
Smell: Caramel, hints of smoke and a bit of fusel alcohol
Taste: Toffee and multi-grain bread flavors, up front, with a bit of citrus fruit and fusel alcohol developing by mid-palate; after the swallow, the smokey peat flavors join in, though the beer finishes rather sweet
Mouthfeel: Thick body with prickly carbonation
Drinkability: A pretty decent wee heavy, though it may take some time to come together; still it has some flaws that may also hinder it over time
Thanks, MiguelMandingo, for the opportunity
11-11-2009 00:36:37 | More by brentk56
3.5/5 rDev -10.5%
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.
11-02-2009 03:36:11 | More by Phyl21ca
3.53/5 rDev -9.7%
Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. No dating but limited release that I got on release date on 9/11/09 so just over 3 months of aging. I tried a couple right around the release date and it needed some aging. Got some more cellared so may re-review later. Was a mostly clear amber brown color with plenty of carb streams. It had an average size beige head that quickly settled into a thick collar and some wisps. No lacing.
The aroma was a bit weak and took constant swirling to get it to rise up. Caramel and toffee malt aromas with a slight hint of smoke and some alcohol. I much preferred the aroma on DR4 - the other scotch/wee in the series. This one is really missing the smoke and peat that made #4 so great. Without the comparisons, it's still a bit weak. Aromas not bad but too subtle. The taste follows the aroma. By itself, it's OK but lacking a real standout characteristic. Starts out with the caramel/toffee and then the sweet kicks in and finishes with an alcohol after-taste. Curious to see how this develops as it ages. Compared to the DR4, it's way off and a bit of a mess. The mouthfeel was medium with really good carb levels. The finishing texture is a bit creamy but the alcohol taste distracts.
Overall, it's a good but not great outing. In the bottom third of the Divine Reserves for me. At 3 months, it's still lacking in aroma and flavor. Got several that I'm cellaring so will update over the years. Rotation - one-time release. Have several so wouldn't seek any more.
12-20-2009 22:10:49 | More by TexIndy
3.53/5 rDev -9.7%
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.
10-17-2009 00:26:34 | More by roblowther
3.53/5 rDev -9.7%
Thanks goes out to JJFoodie for this brew.
Pours a cloudy brown color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger fizzy tan head, with some nice sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, with some slight bourbon notes, caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, slightly bourbon, with some caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, not a bad brew, but a slight twist on the style.
01-06-2010 03:59:55 | More by Wasatch
3.58/5 rDev -8.4%
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.
03-01-2010 00:56:55 | More by Sammy
3.58/5 rDev -8.4%
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.
01-17-2010 04:29:15 | More by prototypic
Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #8 from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 129 ratings.