Divine Reserve #1
Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Divine Reserve #1Divine Reserve #1
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American Barleywine
3.84 | pDev: 14.32%
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Texas, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Divine Reserve #1Divine Reserve #1
Notes: Brewed: August 18, 2005
Bottled: October 17, 2005
Cases Made: 327

Brewed with pale Maris Otter malt as a base and supplemented with Munich and Chocolate malts. It was then heavily hopped in both the kettle (with Northern Brewer and Cascades) and in the fermenter (with Saaz). Fermented at 72 F with Saint Arnold's yeast. The first few cases where bottled without filtering which caused complications with the bottling line. The remainder were bottled with an in-line hop filter which removed the hop particles only.
Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 30 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of womencantsail
3.2/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Bobby for sharing yet another series of beers.

A: The pour is a murky brownish color with just about no head. Some scattered light khaki bubbles.

S: This beer is fairly oxidized, but still some brown sugar, toffee, and caramel. A few hints of dark fruits, too.

T: Still a surprising amount of piney bitterness to this beer. Toffee, stale brown sugar, and some light chocolate and caramel. A bit of cardboard, as well.

M: The body is medium and so is the carbonation.

D: Not much left worth drinking, here. Lots of oxidation and not in the good, "chocolatey" sense.

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Photo of gford217
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of KAggie97 poured into a snifter.

Pours a dark, murky brown with hints of orange around the edges with a decent beige head that leaves a collar and spotty lacing on the way down.

The aroma is fairly mellow with lots of sweet caramel malts and even hints of citrus aroma. There are some dark fruits in the nose as well.

The taste is a tad better than the aroma and has a quick (and faint) hop hint up front. Outside of that, it's really about the sweet caramel malts and toffee with some raisins and a bit of woody dryness in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation and very smooth and slick going down.

This is a decent barleywine that has definitely held up well over time. It's not as complex as some of the world-class barleywines out there but it's definitely drinkable despite probably seeing better days.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Blowing the doors off tonight with one of my last big, huge tastings of the year. I am gonna roll through all seven of these tonight thanks to a very kind trader. Only one way to do this, so up first is #1. Served chilled and poured into an oversized pint glass, this one was consumed on 12/27/2008.

The pour was nice. A rich amber color with a wonderful haziness and a light off white crown that sat for a second before going bare. Some sediment in the bottom of the glass.

The aroma was very nice. Rich caramel malts, and light hop notes still present afte all this time, simply amazing hey were still there. Very sweet overall. The flavor though was out of this world. Very mellow, with an enormously nice profile to it. Rich candied malts were the norm here. Thick, syrup like consistency with a smooth and subtle bready profile. Light hops in the finish were enough to let you know this one was hot when it was new. Much mellowed now, as was the acohol which was a mere afterthought.

Overall this is drinking wonderfully and it really is a sublime barleywine at this time. Cannot wait to move on to #2 with dinner.

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Photo of mar
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

bottle poured into a snifter. very deep murky brown color with no head at all. malts, fruits and cloves on the nose. nice thickness and there are still some hops that are noticeable. very bitter taste but the hops smooth this one out. i'd like to get another bottle of this for fun.

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

Bottle shared by chadspivey. Thanks!

Rich chocolately, caramel color and a yellowish, beige head atop. Fresh caramelly scent and an almost bright lemony hint to accompany. Taste is very smooth, easy drinking and I got an almost oaky, drying flavor out of it as well. This has stood up well over time, and was a great barley wine, I thought. Glad to have been able to try it, and wish more were available.

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Photo of hoppymeal
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky and hazy rusty amber in color with zero head. Aroma is a sweet caramel bready maltiness, sweet and sugary mixed in with some nice deep salty and old leather notes of aged malts. Taste shows some sweet sugary caramel malts but they are much more muted than in the aroma, a bit of a tart bite in the finish before a warmth of alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium in body, slightly slick and watery from the very low level of carbonation. A good barleywine that has obviously seen its better day. Still, an incredible aroma and very drinkable for me though I do wish I could have tried a fresh sample for comparison. Thanks to Steve for the opportunity.

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Photo of weeare138
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Much thanks to hopdog for unleashing this aged beauty...
Appears a dark amber with a light tan head that quickly fades into a mild collar. Spotty speckles of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of caramel, vanilla, toffee, and cocoa, and light notes of cherries.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with standout caramel grains on the tip of the tongue.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, boozy, syrupy, and surprisingly drinkable with hardly a notice of the abv.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I got this bottle in a trade with JDV. Thanks Deniz!

It pours from 12oz bottle a cloudy rusty brown with a small tannish head of foam.

The smell has a lot of roasted malt, caramel malt, and a touch of fruit.

The taste up front brings a huge dose of caramel along with some roasted malt, toffee, and some grain. It has a very thick mouthfeel to it and the carbonation is fairly light. The finish is sweetish and lingers for quite some time. The alcohol shows itself slightly in the taste and more boldly during and after the swallow.

I understand that this is Saint Arnold's first attempt at a BWSA and it *is* pretty good. It just seems a bit rough around the edges and is not as easy to drink as other BWSAs I've had before. Still, it's a good effort.

Thanks again, Deniz!

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Photo of TexIndy
2.83/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Got in a trade with syrak. Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Saint Arnold pint glass. Was a dark reddish brown color. There was a ton of yeast floating around in it so thinking I might have got one of the first 30 cases that went unfiltered. It had a tiny head that quickly disappeared. This was bottled in Oct 2005 so has some age on it now and has probably mellowed quite a bit. The small was very malty with a big hit of raisins and a little chocolate in the background. This is my first barleywine so not sure if this represents the style or not. The taste starts off pretty good but an acidic bitterness hits that really ruins it. Leaves an oily taste on tongue that encapsulates the bitterness. Overall, I'm glad I had it as I'm working on trying on the StA's but this one misses the mark for me. Not sure if its the sytle, the beer itself, the age or if mishandled before I acquired it. I've really enjoyed the other DR's so figuring it's a combo of age and handling. (2.5, NA-OIE, ML, N)

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Photo of jring626
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just opened a bottle that has been conditioning in cold cellar for over a year. After aging, this beer has really mellowed out and is an excellent example of the style. Leans toward a malt-heavy barleywine. After initial sip, this beer stays with you long after it leaves your mouth. Great job overall!

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Photo of allengarvin
3.23/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Assurbanipaul for providing this for 2006 Dallas BA tasting. Served a small sniffer glass. Dark mahogany-brown color with a small tan head. Aroma is fruity with some caramel malt notes. Good, rich malt flavor up front gives away quickly to a harshly medicinal alcohol note and, at the end, strong bitter hops without much taste. Plenty of body, with a big mouthfeel.

Disappointing, with no subtlety.

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3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown - red when held against the light. No head at all, just a tan cap. Huge carbonation bubbles (soda-like) stuck to the side of the glass. Tons of sediment - unfiltered to the extreme! No lace.

S - Caramel. Molasses. Brown sugar. Alcohol. Big malty aroma in general.

T - Malt monster of a barleywine. Caramel, toffee, booze. Fruit (raisin) back in there. it of chocolate. Earth. Dough, bread, yeast. At first I got a minimum of hops in the finish, after a while they start to sneak back up and leave a nice bitter ending.

M - Huge, chewy, thick mouthfeel. Low carbonation. Finishes sweet.

D - Good drinkability. I like this beer. I have one in the cellar and I look forward to seeing how it holds up. Nice to see an "extreme" beer from St. Arnolds.

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Photo of icetrauma
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My second attempt at a barley wine. My first was not so good. But then again, it was when my infancy as a fan of hoppy ales first began.

Recently acquired 6 pk from a local city block emporioum.

Poored dark brown and cloudy into a pint glass. Hardly any head at all yet, the color intrigued me. First wiff across the olfactory nerves was one of sweet molasses and caramel scents with a note of alcohol. Then the tasting began. WHAM! sweet malty flavored impacted my palate. Followed by a nice rough hoppy ending. With notes of alcohol as the lingering finish. Nice full feeling in the old bucal cavity (mouth). Looking forward to the next bottle in 3-4 months. This ale should celler very nicely.

Please note just a beginner in the barley wine style. Looking forward to sampling other fine brews. COME ON DOGFISH BRING ON THE 120!!!

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Photo of VoodooBrew
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Divine Reserve #1 (Barleywine), released Fall 2005. This beer created quite a mini-fervor when it was released in the Houston market. One store sold 24 cases in 15 minutes.

The aroma is heavily malty and alcoholic, with hints of raisin. Malt is the showcase of DR1's flavor as well, with alcohol also taking a prominent role. This is, after all, 9.3% ABV. There is some astringency and bitterness on the long finish. For an American Barleywine, this beer is very lightly hopped -- too lightly in my opinion -- but this is not entirely surprising given Brock Wagner's reputation as a malthead. The mouthfeel is full and soft, with a very gentle carbonation.

Given the hype (okay, on a beer geek level) surrounding the release of this beer, it's a shame that it didn't turn out stronger. I think many people would have liked a more aggressive hop profile. However, I have heard that Divine Reserve #2 is going to be a Double IPA. It will be interesting to see how that turns out.

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Photo of kbub6f
3.47/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Dark red-brown, slightly hazy beer sports a small, dense, cream-colored head that dies to a fine ring. Snakes of fine carbonation. Aroma is full of grapes and other overripe, dark fruit. Plenty of caramel and alcohol. The front is surprisingly buttery. More grapes. Very sweet. The alcohol takes over quickly, though, bashing everything else out of the way. Only strong, bitter hops compete at the end. It's a decent result, but I won't open another one for at least a year.

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Photo of assurbanipaul
2.53/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark oak with a small head. Aroma is a faint, nondescript mix of malt and hops.

Taste is heavily malted and lightly hopped. Definite dark chocolate malt flavor, bittersweet, leans way more to malt than hops. Some classic barleywine elements underneath the obvious. World's first chocolate barleywine? No alcohol burn in the flavor but potent enough to feel it warming the belly before half the glass is gone.

Mouthfeel is heavy and sticky, making its drinkability low. Overall, rather uninteresting but a good first attempt (stress on the "first," as this is the first from Saint Arnold) but it still needs some refinement. I brought one bottle back to age, will report back in a year or so.

First in their line of "reserve" limited edtion beers. I hope this experiment improves.

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Photo of damifino
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours reddish, brown with a ¼" head. It bubbles nicely but tapers off as the drink approaches that half-full mark. The head disappears quickly. This one tends to have a few more bits at the bottom than most.

Chocolate and alcohol

This beer is well-balanced. It starts with hops but enters into a malty taste. After drinking a bottle, the alcohol comes out stronger

I opened my mouth, tipped the glass, and the beer went down. Actually it was a very fine beer from St. Arnold's. This is definitely one for the books out of this small brewery in Houston. Brock and the gang did a fine job on this one and I will patiently await future Reserve releases.

Too many of these will leave you seeing "tie-dye", their company cars paint job.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy reddish orange color with about an 1/8" of tan foam at first pour. There are quite a few bubbles rising, but this doesn't maintain the head. There is only a small ring around the top of the glass. Some light lacing remains after drinking.

Aroma: A bit of toasty malt and alcohol noticeable at first. As the beer warms a bit, the alcohol takes on a much more spicy note, as well there is a chocolaty note coming out.

Taste: Aggressive hops greet you at the beginning of the flavor profile, but this doesn't last long. A boat-load of toasty malt and spices come out really early on along with a noticeable chocolaty presence. There is a good bit of bittering hops in here to give the beer balance in the finish to end slightly bitter. The finalie is a pronounced alcoholic warming in the back of the throat.

Opinion: This no doubt Saint Arnolds finest! I drink copious amounts of their beer since I am a homebrewer in Houston...Brock is very supportive of the local brewers, so I drink his beer, and frequent his establishment on a very regular basis.

This is my first review of this beer, but this is the third time I have tried it. The first few cases were bottled without a hop filter, and this was the first beer I tried. The unfiltered version is SO MUCH different than this version, it is incredible to know that they are even the same beer. The unfiltered version had a very assertive hop aroma and flavor profile. I picked out a lot of citrus fruit like Tangerines in particular. The filtered version is still excellent, but there are a few choice bottles floating around out there of this beer presented spectacularly! A definite must-try if you can manage to get some.

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Divine Reserve #1 from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 30 ratings