Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #18 | Saint Arnold Brewing Company

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Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #18Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #18
53 Ratings
Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #18Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #18

Brewed by:
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.40%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Diving into darkness, you can gain insight into your potential. Allow the absence of light, and truly find what it means to have it. This approach was taken when designing Divine Reserve No. 18.

How can we push the limits of our brewhouse? Our house Saint Arnold yeast? Ourselves? After many, many test brews of Imperial Stouts, we found the processes needed to create a beer with massive amounts of flavor and aromatic qualities.

For DR18, we used a grain bill that required four times the amount of grain as Fancy Lawnmower, dosed in two additions of Belgian candi syrup during fermentation to provide an adrenaline shot to the yeast, and let the beer rest for three months before adding a small amount of Madagascar vanilla beans as an added layer of complexity.

The beer pours a rich darkness - no light passes through - topped with a mocha colored head. The aroma is filled with molasses, vanilla, baker's chocolate, and rich dark fruit from our house yeast. The flavor profile starts with rich chocolate and raspberries that are dipped in honey, then builds on dried dark cherry notes, and finishes with wine like silkiness.

Please enjoy Divine Reserve No. 18 at 60° and in the safety of your own home.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 53 |  Reviews: 14
Reviews by Premo88:
Photo of Premo88
4.01/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into snifter
(1/31/18 bottling date printed on neck of bottle)

L: classic black and tan look, foam is almost beige, doesn't push up much of a head, maybe 1/4- to 1/3-inch tall; keeps a thin collar of beige/tan foam; pours clear but once it's in the glass it's hard to see through it, just dark brown highlights at the edge; no major sticking or lacing

S: raisin, licorice, dark bitter espresso, red wine; as it warms a little chocolate sweetness peeks in

T: bitter licorice, red wine, bitter coffee up front, almost burnt but as it warms there's a little layer of milk chocolate sweetness ... almost hot fudge or chocolate sauce; the lingering bitterness in the aftertaste is ever present, almost woody in flavor; some of the bitterness might actually be some "heat" from the alcohol ... it's not medicinal up front but there is a slight menthol note in the aftertaste

F: fantastic, plenty of carbonation and solid weight for a massive overall effect ... each sip is a mouthfull

O: one big brew ... at just three months in the bottle, it's still a little green for my taste buds, but experience with these kinds of beers suggest in a year or two it's going to be as good as it gets; definitely built for aging; the dark malt overpowers anything the vanilla beans might be contributing, though they might be contributing a bit of generic sweetness

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More User Reviews:
Photo of champ103
4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an opaque, pitch black color. A dense two finger tan head rises with good retention. As the foam gently recedes over a few minutes, some lace is left behind. Impressive looking.
S: Chocolate, molasses, vanilla all intermingle. Some dark fruits like figs and raisins are apparent. More bread like malts come in towards the end.
T: Like the nose, chocolate, molasses and vanilla are up front. All very well balanced. Dark fruits of figs, raisins, and chocolate covered cherries. Bread like flavors, and a lingering bitterness is light but apparent (maybe from some roasted malts, or even a bakers chocolate quality). Holy moly, there is a lot going on here, but it all seems to work.
M/O: A huge full body. Moderate carbonation, that is thick and chewy. Though not over done in anyway. At first, I really didn't notice the huge alcohol, but that does come into play as this warms. I would be surprised if it didn't. Though it all comes together really well and something I am really enjoying sipping on.

I would say Saint Arnold pulled this off, and I am not surprised by that at all. A big monster, but has a lot of nuances that are all really well balanced. I think the dark fruit character works well as it takes away from what could have been a sickly sweet mess. Instead, everything is in really good balance. Well done.

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Photo of Benji88
4.27/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tbryan5
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JamesStreet
4.09/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BKotch
4.23/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dvmin98
4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of spark3148857
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.71/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Divine Reserve 18 has a thin, beige head, a very dark brown appearance, and no glass lacing, aside from a few small splotches. Aroma is of strong, heavy malt hits, sugar, and vanilla. Flavor is of those elements, with powdered, dark, bakers' chocolate, vanilla, sugar, deep malt flavor, and black bread crust. The bitterness is nicely balanced against the strong, sweet malts. Mouthfeel is heavy, and D.R. 18 finishes sweet.


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Photo of BdM
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of cmbeddoe7997
4.89/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of ruzzal
4.69/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ilikebeer03
4.01/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottles 1/31. Drank /24
Pour us black with a cinnamon head that fades quickly. No lacing or retention. Expected for a beer of this abv.
Nose is coffee, vanilla bean, dark malt, dark fruit, some alcohol present.
Light coffee, dark fruit, malt sweetness, subtle vanilla bean- blends in nicely-, slight alcohol burn, dark fruit, a touch of dark chocolate on the finish.
Nice smooth body. Could be a little creamier.
Great beer. Can’t wait to see how it ages.

 457 characters

Photo of Mikexw
4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of greenspointexas
3.99/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of rkarimi
4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25


3 characters

Photo of cdwil
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of sohearn
4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sd123
4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Casey_L
4.34/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kojevergas
3.49/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle ran me $5 at an Austin, TX beer store.

Opaque black body. Head is a rich dark tan. Gorgeous.

Aroma of baker's chocolate/specialty chocolate malt,, dark malt sweetness, and scintillae of dark fruit. No hoppy or yeasty aromatics. A hint of vanilla. Aromatic intensity is low for the style, actually, but it never betrays its ABV.

Dark fruit is more forward in the taste than it was in the aroma, and complements the baker's chocolate and (muted) vanilla nicely. It's sweet and soft on the palate without being cloying, and how it hides its ABV this well is beyond me...this stuff is dangerous.

Silky smooth, wet, and full-bodied but not too weighty or heavy on the palate. Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy, though some welcome alcohol warmth does keep one's stomach aglow.

Yeah, it's a dessert stout, and the vanilla could be more in the fore. Roasted barley/carafa would help bring needed bitterness into the mix to tend to this beer's minor balance issues. All in all, though, it's a tasty stab at an imperial stout - more Russian imperial than American imperial by my estimation.

High B- / WORTHY

12/05/18 2nd impression:

Too sweet.


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Photo of Matt141
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Jame515
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of depechemode1983
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour pitch black. Tan head with very little retention and lacing.
Smell is of sweet plums, cherries, raisins and a touch of alcohol.
Taste is alcoholic and warm. The dark sweet fruits come through with some toasty bitterness.
Feel is full bodied and silky smooth with mild carbonation.

 285 characters

Photo of Joshpital
4.67/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One bomber does the job. Feeling good. It’s like I just indulged in my favorite bowl of ice cream, and I’m drunk. Sure, I’ll run extra hard tomorrow to burn it off. But right now I have no regrets. Further still, I’m glad I drank it. Enjoyed every sip. Only real snobs think they can determine an alcohol’s worthiness. There’s nothing pragmatic about it. You either enjoyed it or you didn’t. We’re all drunk when we write these. Don’t be a dick. Develop a drunken scientific method, then we’ll talk. That last sip was just glorious.

 552 characters

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Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #18 from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.17 out of 5 with 53 ratings