Divine Reserve #16
Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Divine Reserve #16Divine Reserve #16
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English Old Ale
4.08 | pDev: 10.78%
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Texas, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Divine Reserve #16Divine Reserve #16
Notes: The Adambier style was popular in Dortmund, Germany until the mid-19th century, when Pilsners and Munich-style lagers began to take over. Eventually, the style became largely extinct until recently, as more and more breweries look to their brewing roots.
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Reviews: 39 | Ratings: 138
Photo of Treyliff
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter
Bottled 2/9/16

A- pours a deep amber brown color with a one-finger foamy off-white head that reduces to a ring around the edge

S- smoky malt on the nose up front, almost peat like, along with aromas of caramel, brownie batter, brown bread, dates & plumbs, hint of green apple

T- smoked malt up front gives some smoky wood notes, followed by sweet malty notes of caramel, molasses, brown bread, dates & raisins. The finish gives sweet molasses and more subtle smoked malt that that continues in the linger

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that continues into the finish, slightly warming

O- just enough smoky notes that work well with the malty sweetness, very little oxidation even after two years

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.63/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a a Speiglau stout glass.

Look is a dark brown with cola highlights and a brown head.

Aroma is malty molasses with a hint of barrel (??). Delicious.

Taste is balanced and malty. Absolutely phenomenal.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.46/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

BOTTLE: 12 fl oz format. Purple label. Branded red twist-off crown cap. Brown glass. Cost was $4.99 USD at a beer store in Austin, TX.

No style is indicated on the label.

Per their website:
Date Brewed: December 9, 2015"
Date Bottled: February 9, 2016
Original Gravity: 1.100
Final Gravity: 1.024
Alcohol: 10.0% ABV
Bitterness: 44 IBU
Malts: Munich, Rauchmalt, Honey Malt, Carafa, Melanoidin
Hops: Bravo, Hersbrucker
Yeast: Kölsch"

Served chilled into a tulip.

BODY: Ugly murky brown. Nontransparent. No yeast/lees are visible, but it doesn't appear filtered to me.

HEAD: Gorgeously frothy and soft in complexion. Off-white in colour. Retention is excellent for the high ABV - ~10+ minutes - wow! Thick and robust. ~5cm head height.

AROMA: Marshmallow. Subtle very light smokiness (I'd guess beechwood if there was a gun to my head). Caramel. A scintilla of green apple. Acidulated malt. Malty sweetness eclipses any hop aromatics, and I don't find any grassy Noble hop character [note: Saint Arnold claims this was brewed with Noble hops, but it wasn't. Only Hersbrucker comes close, and that's not a true Noble hop]. A hint of funkiness, though it doesn't come from brettanomyces. No Kolsch yeast fruitiness is detectable contrary to the label. Has a stale wooden quality to its aroma.

The smoke speaks to me, and it's generally enticing, but it does seem a bit muddled. Aromatic intensity is average. What really impresses me is how little it gives away its high ABV.

TASTE & TEXTURE: The softness of the mouthfeel helps counter any harshness that would otherwise manifest from the smoked malt and carafa/roasted malt, and the subtle fruity esters of Kolsch yeast play well in the mix as well. Smoked malt is the star of the show here, but it's delightfully subtle...this isn't your liquid ashtray rauchbier or harsh mesquite smoked porter.

Hop flavour is absent inasmuch as I can discern. No grassiness or overt bitterness is present, but the maltty sweetness is countered by something more than the smoked malt bitterness so I guess hop bitterness worked its way in organically. Caramel is evident in the mix, but it's not toasty like some Adambiere purportedly were.

Alcohol is quite well disguised, but there is a blip of warmth that's actually rather pleasant.

Balanced albeit muddled. I like that it mixes many diverse flavours - roast, smoke, caramel sweetness, marshmallow, earthy yeast - but the whole doesn't exceed the sum of its parts and it doesn't use its complexity to elevate the beer to a gestalt whole.

Smooth yet dry - especially on the finish. Opens mellower than it finishes. Well-carbonated. Full-bodied.

Not oily, gushed, hot, or boozy. But it is somewhat astringent and possibly even tannic, and it roughens towards the finish which some casual drinkers may find parching.

Blips of dark fruit and stonefruit emerge as it comes to temperature, which really help a lot in my opinion, lending this desperately needed nuance and helping further soften the smoked malts.

OVERALL: I always love to see breweries resurrecting obscure and/or historical but uncommon styles and this is no exception. The smokiness is nice and I think the winning combination here is smoke and Kolsch yeast, though this beer's well hidden ABV is also worth commending. Still, it's not a beer I'd buy much at its $4.99 per 12 fl oz price point in spite of its enjoyability. More drinkable than it ought to be and a worthwhile beer for those interested in the Adambier style, but not a brew casual drinkers will flock to. I like it for what it is and would be curious to try other vintages, but it's not a world class beer even if it flirts with a unique flavour profile.

In any case, this is exactly what I imagine a beer of this style might've tasted like in 19th century Dortmund and I think it's a fascinating glimpse into the beer mores of the day. If historical accuracy alone decided my rating, this would be an A.

High B- (3.46) / WORTHY

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Photo of princessbay710
4.84/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Dark pour, thin head. Smell is faint but definite malt with floral undertones. Taste is magnificent, sweet caramel dark lightly roasted malt. Hard to say much else besides it's amazing, has been aged since 2/9/2016, and available for $5 a glass at Thirsty's during the Beaumont St Arnold's pup crawl!

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Photo of maximum12
3.1/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to nolahophead for this bottle. 12 oz. stubby with a classic label that hasn’t changed in years.

The pour is liquid cabin paneling that quiets quickly in the glass. Smells like motorcycle leathers, a working berry farm, & molasses. Interesting combo.

Divine Reserve #16 tastes older than Clint Eastwood looks. Dry, brittle leather, currants, & RC Cola form a bizarre mosh pit on the front side of this beer. Mid-palate is booze, smoke from a distant fire, raisins, & some nut brown ale. Finish is chaos. Heavy; wish I’d split this one.

This tastes like a classic “too clever for their own good” beer. Certainly complex, but the varied & numerous components are slashing at one another like Greeks & Immortals. Decent enough.

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Photo of TBoneJones
4.57/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Medium brown color.
Nose is a little smoke and some hops. Pleasant.
Such a terrific smokey malt blend, with caramel/ a hint of nuttiness, and well-placed subtle hop notes and an even more subdued hint of dark fruit.
Mild burn, very mild.
Feels thick and hearty. The malts tame the bitterness so well.l with this beer.
A pleasant surprise. I spotted this as a bomber at a small liquor shop, yet recall passing it up when it was sold as a single 12-oz. bottle with a 1-per customer limit at a different shop months earlier.
Figuring to grab this was a good move. If you like big beers with smoke and/ or rich tasty malt notes, this is a picker-upper.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Dark glass shows some brown edges with light. Holds a thin white halo but doesn't lace.

Aroma: Jolly rancher grape candy, some pepper, a little smoke.

Taste: Smoke comes through firmly but doesn't overwhelm the very German tasting lager base. A dopplebock sweetness comes through the smoke to give a rewarding mellow finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium heavy body has a little chew, low carbonation, somewhat numbing alcohol.

Overall: Great beer. Love the series but hate the rarity that makes it a random find. If you are lucky enough to see one, grab it.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle in trade from blutt59, thanks again!
Pours a slightly hazy deep brown color with a small off white head that slowly recedes. Rich caramel and toffee with hints of smoke and licorice. The flavor is more of the smoke than the caramel with a bit of dark fruitiness in there as well. Initially I thought the smoke was a bit to pronounced, but it kind of grew on me. Pretty nice sipper.

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Photo of pkalix
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thick, viscous, dark fruit, malty, caramel, smokey. campfire smokiness! easy to sip at 10%. not into smokey brews but after a few sips and re-evaluating the transition away from all the IPAs, i really like this. it's good to go back and re-visit what was good...

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Photo of Stevem68
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice copper amber color. Aroma is caramel malts. Flavor is malty sweetness with caramel and a hint of vanilla. Has a nice rich body and overall a very nice beer.

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Photo of puck1225
4.16/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark brown with nice head and minimal lacing. A rich caramel smell, sweet. The taste is of dark fruit and sweet spices, cinnamon and nutmeg. Malty feel with some cola taste. Nice last beer of the night!

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip glass.

A: An opaque burnt orange/amber with half finger off-white head that left pretty quickly. Not much lacing.

S: Dark fruits (dates, plums, raisins), bready malts, peat, molasses and caramel.

T: Follows nose in a big way with heavy malts leading the way, followed by dark fruits and a slight smokiness. Much like drinking an old ale. An oakiness rounds it out.

M: Medium with medium, dry carbonation. Almost syrupy.

O: A gentle sipper, one to be appreciated. Take it slow and let the flavors of the old world give you a divine buzz.

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Photo of tbryan5
4.14/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The alcohol is definitely present along with smokey malts. I'm pretty sure this is my first adambier and it certainly hit the mark. I enjoyed this beer and will certainly pick up more. Is you like a good rauchbier, you will enjoy this.

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

Saint Arnold Divine Reserve 16 has a thinnish, cream-colored head, a dark, orange-brown appearance, and sheet lacing left behind on the glass. The aroma is of rich, malt, brown bread, brown bread crust, and even brown bread dough. There is an acidic plum note, as well. Taste is of peat smoke, but not to the rauchbier level, with nougat, brown bread crust, plum skin, acidity, caramel, toffee, and relatively low hop bitterness, although it is detected. Mouthfeel is high-medium/low-heavy and slick, and Saint Arnold Divine Reserve 16 finishes on the dry side.


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Photo of Sak3
4.87/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: Fairly deep black coloring and the edges of it appear to have a red to a brown tone.

Smell: Smells of grapes and malt!

Taste: A bitter sweet taste that leaves my tongue feeling quite happy.

Feeling: The taste stays a while in your mouth and it gives a swift kick to your taste buds.

Overall: A very worth while beverage that I was lucky enough to get shipped to me!

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Photo of MrHolden
3.76/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into snifter. Pours a darkest caramel brown with a thick white head that sits immortal. Aroma is an odd one, full of hickory, campfire smoke, molasses, figs, earth, and caramel. The flavor is smoky malt, toffee, dark fruit, oak, plum, burnt sugars, and a touch of bitterness. The alcohol is subtle and the flavors do not overpower one another. The aroma of smokiness is bigger than its profile on the palate. Medium, slick mouthfeel. Overall a well done beer, albeit one you need to be in the mood for.

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Photo of Myotus
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured at 50F from a 12oz bottle (bottled on 09Feb16) into a snifter. Consumed on 09Apr16.
LOOK: Pours with a fingers worth of brown foam that shrivels into a line within 40 seconds. Dark brown in color with a ruby tint. Rising bubbles are small in size and hardly existent. Lacing is thin and as almost nonexistent as the bubbles.
SMELL: Strong aromas of smoked goodness are backed by mild aromas of hickory smoked bacon, figs, plums, tree nuts, molasses, and oak along with hints of sour green apple.
TASTE: As the aroma told me, strong flavors of smoked goodness and hickory smoked bacon caress the palate, giving the initial taste of a rauchbier. Subtle flavors of tree nuts, molasses, figs, and plums immediately trail and bring a sweet balance to the smokiness. Subtle oak flavors and hints of sour green apples debut last as all previous flavors maintain.
FEEL: Full-bodied with high levels of carbonation. Goes down rough, yet also clings to the back of the throat like syrup. Finishes with a strong and unpleasant dryness.

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Photo of moneygreen11
3.77/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 2/9/16
Poured into a Tulip Glass

Appearance: Amber/dark red color. Very nice color in the light. About a finger of head that dissolved fairly quickly
Aroma: Fairly strong with hints of toffee and smokiness
Taste: Falls in line with the aroma. Rather strong with toffee, some darker fruits, and rather smoky, but not overpowering. Alcohol is well hidden.
Feel: It feels rather chewy and the smoky flavor lingers a bit.
Overall: I have never had this style of beer before, but it was very drinkable and the smokiness was not overpowering and nice. Probably would not buy again, but would drink again if offered.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Trying the Saint Arnolds Reserve 16 off the tap at Mojos Sports Bar and Grill in Hobble, TX. It poured a rich clear amber with white head that is leaving a lace. The scent is smokey. The taste is also smokey with slight menthol kick. The Mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall it's a solid beer.

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Photo of Icedog
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This ale will reach the height of more than the 90 given it; there hasn't been enough tasters... The acute darkness reveals an almost charcoal aroma that makes me
think, is the neighbor grilling. Going down with the ease of kool-aid makes it divine to swallow. If it was meant to be; yes, it reminds me of a great Scotch Ale brewed in wooden casks that once held whisky, and left in the hay barn during the aging process. A lot of dirt in it too. Now this stuff is definitely an ancient ale brew. Way to go my dear saint...

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Photo of Wayne17
3.57/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

ABV is well hidden in this one. Very drinkable for 10%. The smell
Is bready malt, some caramel sweetness and smoke. The flavor is just want you expect from the nose, like a rich double Alt or something with a smokey finish. I'm left with a pleasant sweetness and a slightly distracting bologna like smokiness. Divine Reserve series has been a fairly sought after one and usually the recipes have been killer. Endeavour and pumpkinator both got their starts as Divine which to me means a pretty high bar. This beer didn't have anything remarkable about it at all in my opinion. Maybe sometimes a dead beer style should remain dead...

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Photo of BowmanR
1.88/5  rDev -53.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I tried this beer when it first came out, and decided to wait a while and try it again before reviewing it. Unfortunately, as big of a Saint Arnold fan as I am, I cannot find anything enjoyable about this beer. I think it is more related to the style than anything, but I cannot finish a full 12 ounces of it. The taste is horrendous and it gives me the worst gas.

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Photo of GreatStoutman
4.26/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 2/10/16

Look is dark caramel body with no head or lacing.

Smell is mostly smokey at the start, but as it breathes there are sweet fruity notes and malts showing up.

Taste follows, with the strong smokey flavor giving way as the beer opens up. Sweetness lingers and masks all the booziness of the 10%.

Feel is medium to full and gets really chewy. Long finish of sweet malts.

Overall, I really started to enjoy this about half way through the glass. Not a style I'm familiar with and I was at first taken back by the smokiness, but given time it's really excellent.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle. Pours deep reddish brown, finger tan head fades to a ring, little lacing. Toffee candy aroma, raisins. Complex taste is just full of flavor, smoky and sweet with burnt sugar, molasses, figs, dark fruit. Nothing overpowers, just comes together nicely. Touch of booze at the end. Mouthfeel is medium soft, slippery. Great brew to end the night with.

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Photo of leroybrown10
4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours an amber brown with reddish highlights. 1 finger tan colored head isn't very long lasting. Minimal lacing left behind.

Smoky, fruity, sweet aroma. Caramel and molasses. Figs, plum, and raisin. A bit earthy. Smoke throughout but not overpowering and mixes well.

Smoky, earthy taste. Caramel. Plum, grape, and candied sugar. Mild vanilla and molasses.

Rich, sweet mouth feel. Mild carbonation. Smokey and smooth on the tongue. Lingering fruit to complement the smoke.

Really well done beer. Smoke is very present but doesn't distract. Sweet but not syrupy. Very drinkable for the style and abv.

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Divine Reserve #16 from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 138 ratings