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 ExaltedNecrosis
4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into tulip glass.

A - Pours a gorgeous dark mahogany with barely a centimeter of beige head that dissipates quickly.

S - It smells both sweet and smoky. Aroma of raisin, plum, smoke, and chocolate.

T - Quite a complex flavor that changes as it warms. Lots of very sweet dark fruit at the front. Molasses, plum, raisin, esters. Smoky malt that becomes much more noticeable at room temperature. The sweet fruit and molasses are somewhat balanced by bitter chocolate.

M - Medium, sticky body with moderate carbonation. The alcohol is surprisingly subtle. There is a long lingering aftertaste of smoke and molasses.

O - A very interesting style. This is my first adambier, so although I have no point of reference, I believe Saint Arnold did this one very well! It's like a sweeter, smokier doppelbock with lots of esters.

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

Serving: 22 oz bottle poured into a Saint Arnold nonic pint.

Appearance: Pours a deep medium brown with a reddish cast. Nice frothy head of tan foam.

Smell: Malty and sweet with cocoa and light smoke.

Taste: Big, layered malty body, toasted grains, caramel and chocolate. Fruity esters and sherry notes add complexity; hints of warm alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with rich, smooth feel. Light to medium carbonation.

Overall: Malt focused as much of SA's lineup, but with better than average depth, balance and complexity.

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Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours dark brown with ruby light coming in on the edges.

It smells less smokey than I anticipated, but it's pleasant nonetheless. I get raisins and malt.

Taste is mainly raisin, toffee, and dark fruits. There's also a nuttiness on the back. There's just a hint of smokiness, and also a woody taste.

This beer drinks thick and velvety. As it warms more booze shines through.

Overall I really like this beer, and I'll probably end up buying the 6-pack rather then the bomber.

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Photo of imnodoctorbut
4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

poured chilled from a bomber to a tulip

A: deep red/mahogany, impressive head immediately after being poured that dissipates with minimal retention and maintains impressive lacing and a light toasted cream of a ring throughout.
S: toffee front and center, with dark/stone fruit (plum and raison I'd wager) and a touch of smoke
T: toffee sweet and malt (picked up a bit of molasses as well) carried by the dark/stone fruit (slight tart along with it) and just enough smokiness to make it delightfully complexing. the smoke dances nicely around the fruit and toffee/light malty sweetness, but is in no way heavy or subduing in nature - more of a relaxed playfulness really. the sweet outlasts the smoke and makes the brew very inviting. you can only pick up a slight amount of booziness, but it's enough to add to the complexity, and reminds you that you're sitting on a 10%er. as the brew sits and warms a little, it starts to bloom and the complexities are magnified but never harsh. maintains a consistent smoothness that is, again, very inviting.
F: smooth, almost creamy mouthfeel that sits comfortably between a full and medium body, with moderate carbonation. slightest of heat towards the end, and it works in favor of the brew's impressive, yet highly relaxed, complexities.

Bottomline (aka personal opinion time):
I cannot overstate how well this brew balances complexity with enjoyability. I should probably find a better word than "enjoyability" here, but what I mean by it is that it isn't so complex that it's confrontational and all up in your face with fancy goodness. it's a highly relaxing experience that is just complicated enough to remind you that it deserves to be appreciated. an overall impressive take on an underrated style. it's only March and I think I've found my favorite brew of the year. such a perfect experience that I won't bother buying another bottle. kudos to saint arnold on the venture, as it was highly appreciated!

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Photo of brentk56
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: The beer pours mahogany colored, capped by an impressive head; decent stickage but only leaves a shard of two of lacing

Smell: Caramel, dark fruit and a hint of smoke

Taste: Caramel and dark fruit forward with subtle smoke tones building through the middle; through the finish, both the sweet and smoke flavors intermingle in a complex fashion

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: It has been a while since I have had Hair of the Dog Adam so I really cannot compare this but I will say that this is a very interesting, complex and enjoyable beer; the smoke is restrained and the ABV is well hidden

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Photo of Tuck_leepulin
4.59/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled on 02/09/16.

Appearance: Pours a midnight mahogany with 1/2 finger of head

Smell: Raisons, toffee and smoke

Taste: Dark fruit and cherry with underlying notes of smoke with a slightly sweet finish

Mouthfeel: Medium but finishes quite clean

Overall: Incredibly complex in taste. I find that the smoke is ever present but not overpowering. The smokiness is a strong foundation that the sweeter, fruit flavors really expand upon leaving a very complex finish. I commend Saint Arnold for really exploring something different with this DR and not just aim for the status quo or the trendy high ABV styles.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pitch black color with a small, brown head. Head retention is non-existent. Lacing is minimal. Roasted malty aroma with hints of coffee. It is smokey as well. Dark malty taste with some hints of coffee that ends in a BBQ taste with a minimal amount of chocolate and molasses at the end. Very interesting and very good. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Hides the alcohol content very well.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.49/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle pours a viscous dark ruby color with a moderate tan head. Retention is ok and not much lace.

Nose is smoked plums with a sweet molasses sauce. Big and bold, rich and dense, you can tell you are getting into a big beer.

Taste is a great mix of Old Ale, Rauchbier and Scotch Ale. The dark fruit, smoke and sweet malts all seem to play out equally without any of the three asserting dominance. As others have mentioned, the ABV is well hidden and is oh so smooth. Its got some complexity that some of sweeter strong ales seem to lack. One of the best in the DR series and one of the best beers I have had this year.

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Photo of donspublic
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into tulip from 12 oz bottle. Nice 3 finger creamy tan head, hangs around then dissolves to a pool of foam on the top, some nice lacing on the glass. Color is dark reddish amber, clear to look at and light can make it way thru the glass. Smoked malt on the nose, but that is about all I get. Taste is at first a little sweet with caramel up front, and smoke on the end. Not picking up any bitterness from this, if you let it sit in your mouth a while, you can pick up the alcohol, but the smoke and sweetness tend to hide it pretty good. Nice creamy mouthfeel, somewhat full bodied. Like this beer, maybe a tad on the sweet side, but don't find it as smokey as others I have had like Live Oak Grodziskie and Cedar Creeks Scruffy's Smoked Alt.

Update, 2 years on this beer and man has it opened up. Alcohol has tamed out making way for raisin, plum, chocolate and almost a port like finish. Bitterness has upped a bit, smoke is still there. Really nice beer

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Photo of erushing
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Pours medium brown with reddish tint. Aroma is light smoke with a bit of malt. At this point I'm pretty excited. Unfortunately the taste is just all smoke. It's not a bad smoke per se, but it finishes long and fairly bitter. There may be the faintest hint of sweetness with the smoke up front, but the smoke just bludgeons it. I can't fully tell if the lingering bitterness is the alcohol or too much smoke. I imagine it's some of both. I have loved a lot of smoked beers, but this is not one of them. There is nothing subtle about the smoke to me. If your palate is more forgiving of bitterness, then maybe this will be more complex for you, but I'm not seeing it myself. To me, it tastes very much like a much thicker version of Live Oak's Grodziskie. Bitter, smoke, nothing much else.
L: 4.25, S: 3.5, T: 2, F: 4, O: 2

EDIT: Drink this beer cold!!!
Setting aside bottle variation, the above reviewed beer was tasted at 50+ degrees as I would typically try a 10%ABV beer. Reviewed again at fridge temp. The fruitiness is much more prevalent up front and through the middle and the smoke is subdued when cold. I still think the finish could be better, but this is an interesting beer. The mouthfeel is incredible. Very thick and chewy, which suits the beer. That was the only characteristic I liked when warm, but I get an even better impression now. The nose is still pretty flat, but you can't have everything.

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Photo of ilikebeer03
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown with ruby tint. 3 fingers of off white head. Good retention. Nose is smoked malt. Almost baronial. A touch of fruit. Plum. Touch of malt. Taste follows. Soft mellow smoke, a slight caramel sweetness. Initial taste is fairly smokey, but subdued as drinking progresses. A malty backbone. Light fruit. A touch of chocolate. Excellent. Crisp, smooth body. Alcohol well masked. Great beer!

Nose is light smoked malt and light fruitiness. taste follows. Upfront, roasted malt, a touch of caramel, a slightly sour/bitter twang. Light smoke on the finish. A touch of tart fruit. A bit of alcohol as it warms. Not aging fantastically.

Pours clear, deep ruby red. Decent head, not much retention.
Nose is peated malt, caramelsteokg malt backbone, raisin, dates. Barely perceptible twang of dark fruit as it warms. Aging nicely now - reminds me a big scotch ale.
Taste follows. Peated malt upfront, rich caramel, toffee,
Creamy, slick mouthfeel.
Great beer.

Nose is Smokey. Mesquite/peat. Dark fruits - think quad.
Taste follows but with the dark fruit taking the foreground. Dark cherry, plum, smoked malt, caramel, raisin, fig

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Photo of gman1602
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Definitely a mix of old ale and rachbier styles. The smoke is well balanced but is definitely there, so if that's not your thing be warned.
L: Pours a very dark brown with lighter brown edges. Light is having a hard time coming through though.
S: A balance of smoke and those caramelized scents you get when malt is cooked for a while. Like sweet smoky molasses.
T: Candied smoke upfront, the smoke fills your palate for a bit but has that sweeter malty backbone laying on the taste buds to even things out. Aftertaste is like smoked figs. 10% ABV is undetectable. Really good.
F: Perfect body and carbonation to me.
O: A really well done beer worthy of trying. The smoke may put some people off so be aware of that going in, but if you're ok with some smoke in your beverage, this one is a really interesting example. Balanced and delicious, I would recommend this with grilled meats. I'm trying it now with Endangered Species dark chocolate with blackberry and sage - it works well!

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Photo of thatche2
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance is dark brown with some maroon colors around the edges (little transparency). Head is a good three fingers thick with good retention.

Smell is fairly subdued with smoky flavors predominant. There is also a hint of red fruit and molasses.

Taste is stronger than the aroma with lightly smoked/roasted malt flavors leading the way with notes of plum fruit, molasses and dark chocolate. The flavors work very well together and linger for a good 10 sec. There is moderate sweetness with a slightly dry finish (minor alcohol coming through). There is very little bitterness throughout and no sour notes.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with minor heat (low-moderate carbonation).

Overall this Adambier is smooth and well balanced with an interesting array of flavors. I appreciate the subtlety of the smoke that works quite well with the plum fruit and chocolate/molasses flavors. The 10% ABV is barely noticeable, and I keep wanting more. Awesome beer ... maybe a barrel aged version?

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Photo of champ103
4.28/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an "Adambier" which, as the notes say is a nearly extinct style. The only other commercial example I have had in the States is Hair of the Dog Adam. Which is listed as an Old Ale here, so I thought should be the same for this release. Even though this is a strong German "Ale" there was really no other style this fit into.

A: Pours a dark brown, nearly opaque with a bit of ruby around the edges. From the bottle, a dense two finger khaki head forms and sticks throughout as a small cap. Tons of lace is left behind.
S: Sweet caramel and smoked malts up front. Almost, but not quite meaty. A bit of esters, and a touch of fruits. Very nice.
T: The malt character is great. Toasted and sweet caramel, plenty of smoke, that is not quite of a Rauchbier intensity. A bit of nutty malts as well, even a light fruitiness that persist throughout in the background. Cherry comes out more as the warms. This is great.
M/O: A full body that is not overly viscous or overbearing. The perfect amount of carbonation that makes this crisp, but also ultra smooth at the same time. The lively and perfectly smooth carbonation makes this incredibly easy to drink. The 10% ABV is not noticeable at all, and something I can come back to again and again. With a prominent smoke character and high ABV that is saying something.

This is really well done. The smoke is prominent, but not over done at all. The great malt character and all around smoothness makes this something special. This is a home run.

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