Divine Reserve #15
Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Divine Reserve #15Divine Reserve #15
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Russian Imperial Stout
4.18 | pDev: 7.66%
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Texas, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Divine Reserve #15Divine Reserve #15
Reviews: 41 | Ratings: 297 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into a snifter to a deep black topped by a dense finger and a half of dark tan head which fades quickly to a collar around the edge of the glass
S: Smells of dark chocolate and a little coffee with some nice roasty notes along with a touch of smoke
T: Taste is dark chocolate, coffee, a little charred wood, hint of anise, slight burnt sugar, and some roasty goodness. Swallow is more chocolate and coffee with some more roasted malt and burnt sugar.
M: This is a thick and silky beer with soft carbonation and a dry finish from the ABV.
O: Very good with some age on it. Good complexity and flavors with no visible faults. There are others that I like more though.

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Photo of maximum12
3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to nolahophead for this bottle. I loooved D.R. #5, which this brew was modeled on, so I’m hoping for a similar caress from this one. 12 oz. bottle.

Pour: black. Hardly a whisper of visible carbonation. Not much in the smell department with chocolate, & few other muddled things that barely register. Meek.

Divine Reserve #15 is no Divine Reserve #5, but that’s a tall Mexican wall to scale. Rich, sweet malts that lean into my favorite vegetable (chocolate) are accented by a lovely roastiness & a moderately bitter bite. Bit of toffee & creaminess masquerading as lactose, finishes very smooth. I’d have no problem putting away half, or more, of a four pack in an evening.

A big stout that could comfortably hang out with the likes of Plead, Blackout, & other top-notch black stuff. Excellent beer.

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Photo of mcvick
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Opened a 12oz bottle. As a straight Russian Imperial Stout, this was mostly great. The look is absolutely beautiful: dark, slight head, and nice lacing. Aroma is pretty light, and there is a slightly astringent taste on the back end. Overall, I would drink this again.

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Photo of BeerSamurai34
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is one of the better beers in the DR series. It has a really nice creamy mouthfeel and the flavor is very solid, although the finish is a bit metallic.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.44/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black color with a half finger brown foamy head. Head retention is non-existent. Lacing is decent. Aroma of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate and slight undertones of coffee. Perhaps a little bourbon is thrown in at the end. Very smooth, heavy bodied taste. Like silk. Roasted malts and Dark chocolate predominates. It goes into a coffee flavor before dipping more towards bourbon. Very, very good. Wish I had more.

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Photo of HipCzech
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving: 12 oz bottle poured into a 9 oz Libbey Embassy snifter.

Appearance: Deep, inky dark brown with a modest head of khaki foam and spare lace.

Smell: Dark chocolate, malt, light roast and dark fruit.

Taste: Moderately roasted malt, dark fruit (dates), dark chocolate, molasses. Roast coffee bitterness balances some of the malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium body and carbonation.

Overall: Solid imperial stout. Paired nicely with Baskin-Robbins chocolate chip ice cream.

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Photo of Stevem68
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a a midnight black color. Has a deep aroma of roasted malts, caramel and chocolate. Flavor is sweet and a little boozy. Has notes of chocolate and caramel. Has a balanced smooth finish and overall is a very nice beer.

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Photo of Chris_Huston
3.57/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured at mild room temp into truncated tulip snifter, not the heavy, thick crude-oil look of Ten Fidy, but only a step or two below that. Roasted brown sugar colored head builds modestly and falls to a typical, pleasant ring with only wisps lingering on the black-brown surface. As the beer is moved around the glass, there is the classic superb St. Arnie's lacing that lingers but drifts cleanly back down into the brew.

Smell is a sophisticated grungy, bitter, smoky, roasted aroma with alcohol being the only truly distinct scent. Virtually nothing of the coffee or chocolate that the brewer itself highlights, and more, if anything, a vague presence of the dark fruits reported by others -- fig, date, etc.

Taste is dominated by the smokiness and, only in its bitterest forms, cacao. The alcohol backs off considerably, coaxing the drinker along easily through the glass. Again, dark fruits appear vaguely, lending more to an overall complexity than a specific taste. Feel is mildly creamy and with solid weight, though possibly a touch light for a Russian Imperial, but not enough to make a fuss about.

A good stout, but not a distinct enough character to make it memorable.

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Photo of Brolo75
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bottle poured into a snifter

A: Pours pitch black with a mocha colored head, very little carbonation, no head retention, just a soapy mocha color film, looks like motor oil.

A: Dark fruits like figs, plums, dates, dark chocolate, smells very sweet, picking up alcohol, not getting any roasted or malt.

T: Like the nose, dark fruit sweetness up front, touch of dark roasted coffee in the middle, moderate amount of bitterness, sweet dark chocolate, finish is dry, with a hint of roasty flavors, lingering aftertaste of more dark fruits, very balance, very drinkable.

M: Nice creamy mouthfeel, like motor oil, touch of carbonation adds to mouthfeel, full bodied, dry finish.

O: Very impressed, its dark chocolate and dark fruit forward, touch of coffee in the middle, nice creamy full mouthfeel, balanced, dangerously drinkable for 10.10% ABV, very tasty, definitely worth a try if you like imperial stouts.

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Photo of darktronica
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Lots going on here, pretty much all of it good. The nose has some vinous sweetness, complemented by molasses, plums, dates, and a boozy heat. More fizzy in the mouth than expected from the minimal head, some of the flavors are being drowned out by the carbonic acid. Fortunately, there's plenty of flavor to go around, as this is a pretty intense drink. Strong roasted barley, fennel seed, and rye.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Mark, thanks for the hookup!
Solid black color decent tan head. Roasty molasses brown sugar with bits of earthy hop and dried fruits. I tried this side by side with a bottle of #5 what a difference. Nice stout, but 8 years is a bit too long to hold onto it.

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Photo of L0ne
4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From backlog. 12oz bottle, April 2015.

Very dark, opaque brown, bordering on black, with a small but creamy tan head.

Delicious, chocolate and dark fruits, just the right amount of roasty, malty sweetness, and a little smokiness /char. A little bit of coffee bitterness and mild hops create a nice balance.

Creamy and full bodied, with just a touch of warming sensation from the alcohol.

Awesome stuff. I still have a few bottles in the cellar to see how it ages.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle. Pours black with finger tan head, fades to thin ring, good lacing. Terrific aroma, smells like chocolate cake with fruity icing. The taste follows with sweet chocolate roasted malt combined with dark fruity fig sweetness. This sweetness meets enough hops for balance in the middle and then returns to sweet at the end. Mouthfeel is medium, slick. Slight alcohol booziness. Overall this is a good stout, on the sweet side but not overly so. Enjoyed it.

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Photo of mothman
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap. Black with tan head. Thin ring. This beer is on par with expedition stout. Solid Russian with everything the style needs. Light roast, dark fruits, molasses, chocolate, caramel. Full bodied with a light creaminess. Ends with a little coffee roast. Smooth. Very well done.

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Photo of gatorlove
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Not as thick as I would usually like my imperial stouts, but there was a lot of anise flavor backed by a lot of smoked malt that I really enjoy in my stouts. Overall a very tasty imperial stout.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into an imperial nonic pint.

Heavy frothy and foamy dark-khaki and cocoa-colored head is simply massive. A wall of lace streaks up the side of the glass. A pitch-black body lies under the foam, bold and and inviting. 5

Dark chocolate and plums, caramel and creamy toffee on the nose. Slight solvency is apparent. 4.25

Kind of like chocolate milk in flavor, sweet and creamy, followed by cherry and dark fruit flavors. There's some booziness that works its way into the flavor. Notes of coffee show up and the finish is quite like fruity dark chocolate. 4

Warmth does some favors to this beer, particularly the heat that is a bit of an unpleasant distraction. It mellows and the richer, creamier and more viscous qualities spill out. The beer's got a good balance of sweetness and bitterness and the body is medium but easy drinking. 4

Good stuff. Without the booziness, this would rate even higher as there are some great flavors in here.

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Photo of Rimbimhoot
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown but not entirely opaque
S: Black grapes, currants, dark chocolate, light roast, plum, caramel
T: Black grapes, anise, medium bitterness, alcohol, light roast, dark cherry, sweet toffee
M: Medium body, with medium carbonation
O: Very dark fruit forward stout. Pretty drinkable since the mouthfeel isn't super thick

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
3.11/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured into a Duvel snifter glass

A - 4.25 - Pours black with a finger of extremely quick dissipating, dark tan to light brown colored head. Very weak head potential and retention. No lacing.
S - 3.25 - Very simple and dare I say, boring. Malt and medium sweet chocolate. That is literally it, no vanilla, no dark fruit.
T - 3 - About as basic as the smell. Heavy malts, medium to bittersweet chocolate and a slightly bitter finish. Lacks the medicinal, herbal, star anise and licorice flavors that I've come to know of a good Russian.
F - 2.75 - Too thin for the style in my opinion.
O - 3 - What a let down. I can't believe this is a somewhat rare, sold as a single type of beer. This is a DECENT at best representation of the AMERICAN double stout style. As a Russian, well, this is NOT a Russian by any means. Too strong for a beginner and too boring for a connoisseur, just pass this one up.

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Photo of Joe_Howard
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours completely opaque black with a small tan head. Smells roasty and chocalatey. The taste is predominately chocolate with some roasted malt and traces of plum and date like fruit. Also the alcohol is very noticeable. It was pretty flat though unfortunately. Overall a pretty tasty brew from one of my Texas breweries, glad I was able to get my hands on it.

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Photo of marieli
3.48/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Bottle. Started at 55 degrees. Generally, I am not a fan of Texas stouts and I am not a fan of Saint Arnold. I thought this one might change that trend. It did not. Color was pretty black. Head was dark tan but not much to speak of and did not last. Aroma was not too strong. Chocolaty malt. Taste had some chocolate sweetness, not much coffee. A little bit of spice but this beer was pretty much on the sweet side. What I did not care for was its bitterness and the alcohol was a bit too present for my liking. Texture was medium body, pretty good. Overall this did not leave a good taste in my mouth.

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Photo of BlesstheHarvest
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thick and Creamy.
Nice 1 inch frothy brown coffee head, good retention.
A very nice stout with a lot of roasted cocoa , smoky nutty flavor.
not over powering, will definitely have again.
Flavor are actually more preeminent that the actual smell (mild aroma). great surprise. mild carbonation yet pleasantly noticeable.
really enjoyed it.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip glass. Wish I had bought 2.

A: Black and bold. A tan one finger head that slimmed down to a ring. Thick lacing.

S: So nice. Plums, raisins, fudge, coffee, vanilla. Love.

T: Takes it over the top. Chocolate fudge intermingles with dark fruits with a smoothness that is legendary. When it warms, the flavors hum to a whole new level. Sweet, robust, decadent and sensual.

M: Medium to high (viscous) with chewy carbonation.

O: This one lives up the hype. If I manage to find another, I will dive on it. Highly recommended.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.53/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BOTTLE: Brown glass. Pry-off pressure cap. 1 pint 6 fl oz.

Acquired: At an Austin, TX bottle shop.

Reviewed live at low altitude in Austin, TX. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Vintage: 2015.
ABV: <None listed.> 10.1% per Saint Arnold's website.
Style: <None listed.> Russian Imperial Stout per Saint Arnold's website.
Serving temp: Chilled.
Serving vessel: Pilsner glass.
Expectations: Moderately high; I've heard good things about this.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: ~1 inch wide, with a luscious creamy look accompanied by a full thick froth. Good complexion. Appears soft. Leaves a light ring of lacing as it recedes.

Retention: ~4-5 minutes. Good.

BODY: It doesn't appear unfiltered, though the brewery claims it is. Just a predictable opaque solid black with no visible yeast or hop sediment.

Looks nice for an RIS. Not unique or special.

AROMA: Suggests a dessert beer with notes of fudge and chocolate, and faint coffee. It's devoid of roast (both in terms of roasted barley and coffee), which isn't ideal. Luckily, it's not hoppy or yeasty or off in any way for the style. Certainly on the sweeter end, but doesn't seem cloying. I find no alcohol, just luscious dark malts and chocolate malts lending it a dessert like sweetness.

Aromatic intensity is average.

TASTE: Fudge dominates, with plenty of accompanying sweetness from the dark and chocolate malt backbone as well as notes of dark chocolate, cream, and a kiss of vague dark fruit (maybe dates, if I had to guess). It's on the sweeter side, and I suppose it's a dessert beer, but it's never cloying. There's no real hop presence or yeast presence (to style), and I find no booze or off-notes.

Depth of flavour: Average.
Flavour duration: Above average.
Flavour intensity: Average.
Flavour amplitude: Nice.

It's admittedly simple for the style, but its impressive balance is what really works. The coffee from the aroma never manifests, and its lack of roasted barley characteristics does hold it back, but I quite like it for what it is. It's an effective Russian Imperial Stout that hits all the key fundamentals of the style.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, full-bodied, aptly thick, and creamy. It's nicely soft, and has sufficient carbonation. There's plenty of weight and heft on the palate. Slightly chewy, which fits the faint suggestion of cherry I find in the taste as it warms.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

This mouthfeel fits the dessert beer vibe of the beer, and its creamy soft texture helps amplify the chocolate & fudge notes. Well-executed, though it doesn't elevate the beer beyond its taste.

OVERALL: Sure, there are more intricate/complex and subtly executed brews in the style out there, but this is a gestalt beer with ample cohesion and it has a nice harmony of texture to taste. Impressive work from Saint Arnold, and easily one of their better beers. I'm glad I nabbed a bomber, and will enjoy finishing the bottle. I'd definitely buy this in 6-packs if they released it in that format. It can hold its own against the go-to stouts available in the Texan market (i.e. Ten Fidy, Victory Storm King) - and that's saying a lot. Drinkable in spite of its dessert beer leanings, and well worth trying.

Low B (3.53)

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Photo of vickersspitfire
4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Almost pitch black and covered by a tan head that quickly rescinds into a thin ring round the glass. A mild lacing mark your every sip.
Strong roasted malts, mild chocolate, dark fruits and raisins all make one great aroma.
Roasted malts, coffee, slight chocolate flavors towards the middle and back of your tongue.
Medium mouthfeel with strong carbonation.
This is one great RIS, don’t pass it up!

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Photo of chrismann65
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Wow !, What a great beer ! This beer will age well , ABV = 10.2 % and is very smooth W/ A dark roasted coca nibs, light coffee , taste that is a very nice mix- Sweet, W/Dark plum & Fig..! Wow !! very well done St. Arnold !! Houston: we have a Top self Beer !! Thanks !!( S.A.) Age this One & Let it WARM UP...!! And sip it slow !! Enjoy !!


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Divine Reserve #15 from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 297 ratings