Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #4 | Saint Arnold Brewing Company

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Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #4Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #4
54 Ratings
Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #4Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #4

Brewed by:
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed: December 20, 2006
Bottled: February 20, 2007
Cases Made: 823

Added by Xadoor on 02-23-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 54 |  Reviews: 39
Reviews by jordanmills:
Photo of jordanmills
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed the last six-pack at Central Market Houston. It wasn't there two days ago. Cesear congratulated me and showed me some more of the new stuff. It seems they might have a little more available soon. Satisfied that I got as much as was fair, I promptly took it home and prepared to enjoy.

It pours dark, dark mahogany with a moderate light-colored head. It's so dark it's almost purplish. I had to take my glass outside to inspect it in more detail. Yep, purplish.

The smell is somewhat lacking. It's dark and malty, almost musky or smokey, but not overly strong. I guess it's a good balance, if the aroma was too strong it would probably be overpowering.

The taste is great. It's dark and malty and seems to have some spice back there - almost peppery, or maybe reminiscent of nutmeg? Lots of medium-roasted malt, and the alcohol comes out to bite pretty fast.

It feels nice and thick on the tongue, the carbonation adds some creaminess, the alcohol adds some bite to keep the finish from being too heavy.

I could drink this until I pass out. Which, right now, would take about two. Stupid alcohol, keeping me from drinking all the beer I want.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Ben7773
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown color with red highlights. Tan head. The aroma is chocolate, smoke, darker malts and dark fruit. The flavor is caramel, toffee, peat smoke, dark fruits and chocolate. Medium-thick mouthfeel and low carbonation. A great beer that has aged gracefully. One of my favorites from the Divine Reserve series.

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Photo of lowgear
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of BeerZack
4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown mahogany, appearing almost black. Head quickly fades to small ring and spots.

Chocolate, roasty and caramely malt, some coffee and some restrained smoky/peatiness.

Sweet raisin and nutty malt backbone with some smoke and espresso notes coming in after. Not much hop flavor to speak of, smokiness kind takes care of that.

Medium-low carbonation lends a soft mouthfeel, but still comes off slightly watery. Pretty drinkable for a smoked ale.

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Photo of JamLand
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of goochpunch
2.54/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours out a deep ruby brown with a slight haze to it. Mocha colored head doesn't last too long but settles to a thin rim and clings a little to the glass. Smells strongly of chocolate at first, with mild roasted malt qualities, but then the rubbing alcohol character punches you in the nose. Inhaling the aromas too deeply is a bit stifling. Flavor, again, is big on chocolate with the typical sweet fruitiness found in Saint Arnold beers and a bit of dark roasted malts. Alcohol moves in quickly in a big way along with a mild peatiness which I, at first, couldn't discern for the booziness, but with time I was able to note it. The gummy worm like fruitiness comes back in the finish along with more sweetness, almost like an artificial sweetness. Not much hops to speak of. Nice mix of chocolate and coffee in the finish. This reminds me of a really huge porter with a hint of smoke rather than a Scotch ale. Mouthfeel is smooth, for sure, with mellowed out carbonation and a surprising absence of slickness, considering the alcohol. As per usual, I'm just not wholly impressed with yet another cloyingly sweet Saint Arnold offering. I will say that these last 2 Divine Reserves have been OK, if not a bit off from the "style" they are trying to achieve. I know cost shouldn't be a factor when trying to objectively size up a beer, but for $14 I could've bought something a whole hell of a lot better and not a one-off experiment.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Bu11zeye: Poured a dark burgundy color ale with a small foamy head with better then average retention. Aroma of dry figs with subtle peat malts is exquisite. Taste is also dominated by some sweet dry figs and raisins notes with some subtle smoke and peat malt. Body is tad too light for the style with some medium-low carbonation. Very well balance overall with the sweetness being well balancer with the peat. This is definitely something I would wish top have more often.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into snifter. Purple Divine label with a "Reserve No. 4" on the neck of the bottle.

Deep and nearly opaque dark violet color with ruby highlights. A thick light tan head slowly settles toa thin cap and bubbly rim. Stringy and spotty lacing along the glass.

Aromas of roasted coffee beans with hints of raisin and light toffee. A touch of caramel makes its way in. The sugary characteristics become more apparent as the beer warms.

Strong and sharp roasted malt character with dark grain fading in and out. A sweet raisin flavor dominates the dark fruit flavor character. A touch of walnut seeps through in the middle. A slight hop bitterness surfaces at the end. Full bodied with a good amount of carbonation adding a little twang to each sip. The finish is complete with light grain and some sugary residue. The near 10%ABV is almost completely hidden.

This one lives up to the hype. If you had a chance you grab some of this release, you will be pleased. Very complex, and also ageable.

Note: Tried this one again after a few months and I have to say it is aging very well. The chocolate flavors are more pronounced, and it is much more complex and smooth.

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Photo of cheers2beers
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This beer pours a dark mahogany with orangeish and ruby edges. The Slightly off white head rose up to a staggering two finger height and then settled to about a quarter inch of foam floating on top.No laceing whatsoever, also when head to the light I notice a lone bead floating to the top.

Smell: The aromas have some peat, smokeiness, black cherry, deeply roasted spicey malts. Little to no hop character. A little alcohol in the nose, but not as much as expected. Very sweet and complex.

Taste: The flavors are great! Black cherries without the acidity, an alcohol punch throughout, some spiciness, lots of smoke and earthy characters. Big raison and ripe dark fruiteness. Sticky sweet malts galore. Like the nose the hops are none existant, but at the same time this doesnot seem to hurt the overall flavor.The sweetness of this big malty monster is not at all cloying. Beautiful!

Mouthfeel: This has a majesticly round and full mouthfeel. Thick,chewy and creamy with low carbonation. Over the top smoothness. Leaves a wonderfull film on the palate that lingers for days.

Drinkability: Beers with this level of malt rarely have such ease of quaff (IMHO). I had this beer at the brewery a couple of weeks before release and I gotta say that its change for the better. For such a big ale this is supremely drinkable and I will lay down several of these for various vertical tastings.


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Photo of TexIndy
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle with no dating but since this was a one-off it is easily known when brewed and bottled. The appearance was a dark brown with deep mahogany highlights when held against a light. It had about a finger or head that quickly dissipated. The aroma was malty with a really good smoky/peaty smell that really developed as the beer warmed up. I love smoked beers so this ones right up my alley. The taste was also smoky but not overly so. It also had a nice sweet backbone that balanced well with the smokiness and the alcohol which at 9.5% never presented itself in the taste which was refreshing for a higher ABV. The mouthfeel was nice and smooth with a good touch of carb. Overall this is a really well put together Scotch/Wee Heavy. Highly recommend if you can get any since limited production. Glad that I got a case so that after trades I've still got several to enjoy. (4.5, RR/OTR, T, Y)

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Photo of Westyn
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

#4 on the night and we are starting to roll pretty deep now at this point. This is actually gonna be the last typed up review as I have had the last three before, but they are gonna go down with the rest tonight. I have to admit I was most looking forward to this one for obvious reasons. Served chileld and allowed to warm to room temperature, this was poured into a wine glass and consumed on 12/27/2008.

The pour was very nice. A rich dark brown color, essentially opaque with nothing coming through in the way of light in any way. Still very nice little head of tan coming up over the op and settling down rather quickly into a small, maybe an eight of an inch layer that stayed throughout the night.

Up next was the smell. Now I knew I was in for it. Bourbon coming through right away, this was gonna be a biggy. Lots of alcohol notes, hints of peat, lots of burnt and smoked malts. As it warms, the molasses now starts to come forward and show itself. Rich, decadent, dessert like flavors here as we take the first sips. Wonderfully rich flavors of bourbon, smoked malts, campfire like flavors and nice touches of caramel and molasses. Just very large and incredibly complex. Smooth, mellow, and bording on a full bodied scotch ale, this was intense in every sense of the word. There was nothing you were going to do except sip this bad boy.

This was by far my favorite of the entire vertical. Just stacked up solidly against anything in the style i had had before of since. I would have no issue at all with getting this one again any day.

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Photo of MEsquandoles
4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Brewed Dec20 2006. Bottled Feb20 2007.

Tasting Notes from Dec7 2008 (so almost 2 years after it was brewed). This was the last bottle of my 6 pack. Poured into a snifer.

Appearance is all brown, cant see through, a little amber when held up to the light. Looks unfiltered. An impressive carbonation for the age and given it's a screw-top.

Tootsie Roll! Reminiscent of an aged Great Divide Hiberation but more earthy and toffee. This has lost some of the wonderful peat flavor and some roastiness, bit it's still there. Caramel, a light roast coffee that's been lightly "Irished". Nice smoke finish.

If I had to find an area of improvement it'd be mouthfeel. It could be a tad thicker. The carbonation is little unusual, I'm assuming due to their use of their house yeast, which is a Kolsch yeast of sorts.

Drinkability is much higher than the fresh version. Alcohol is mellow and not harsh.

All around very nice. This is probably my favorite Wee Heavy / Scotch Ale I've ever had because it wasn't as sweet and had this wonderful earthy-roasty-woodiness.

I wish I had more or that they'll make it again...

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Photo of wcudwight
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown. Large lasting 3 finger sized head. Thick heavy lacing.
Lot's of smoke in the aroma.
Deep rich caramelized malty flavors. Smokey peat and a alcohol kick in the finish.
Thick and full-bodied mouthfeel.
I love a good Wee-Heavy and this is one of them.
Thanks to mushroomcloud for the offering.

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Photo of blackie
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: pours into my Piraat snifter with a negligible head, the beer itself is an unfiltered chestnut brown in color

s: wow, pretty powerful first impression with very smoky peat and sour cherries, I've never experienced this strong an essence of smoked-peat and I do believe I like it, the St. Arnold website accurately indicates Irish coffee (great Irish whiskey aroma here), earthy hops, mission fig preserves, molasses, big complexities come out as it warms, very interesting and miles better than previous reviews led me to anticipate

m: low-medium carbonation with a medium-full body

t: doesn't come through quite as complex as the aroma, most of the characteristics are still there but a bit of the symbiosis is lost, that smoky peaty malt still dominates, also found in the finish are notes of Irish coffee and hardwood, dried dark figs, some sweetness comes out after warming, earthy hop flavors and a mild-moderate bitterness

d: abv pleasantly present and well integrated, drinkability is high

from ppoitras in No BS BiF 3

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Photo of HoustonTX
4.51/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #4

Served in a Duvel tulip. Pours with a large amount of vigor. Large off-white head, with fringes of mocha. Body is black from a far, yet ruby in reality. The clarity of the beer is crystal clear, and the head has excellent retention.

The smell produces a sweet nuttiness, with fringes of roasted malt. A gentle amount of smokiness, with a strong caramel malt base. Peat, toffee, and coffee are present as well.

Taste provides an enormous amount of complexity. Almost nearing that of an RIS. A malt bomb from the very second it hits your tongue. An influx of caramel/roasted malt, that provides some pleasant sweetness upfront, and slowly recedes back to neutrality. Roasted coffee beans, with a hint of chocolate soon follow. After this comes a sweeping stagnant smokiness that is strong, yet not overwhelming. This smokiness lingers throughout the entire sip and is meet with some balancing hops towards the end. Hops provide very little bitterness, but add some orange/lemon twang to the mix. This beer finishes with a lot of spiciness on the palate along with strong roasted characteristics, and a slight alcohol warming going down the throat.

This beer is phenomenal and at 9.50% the alcohol is almost entirely masked. It may be one of the most drinkable big beers to date. For me this is the second best Saint Arnold's beer to date, only surpassed by the later #5.

Props to Saint Arnold's for this incredibly tasty malt monster.

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Photo of thickerfreakness
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sid (guezelover) for this one.

It pours a dark ruby color with a light ruby colored head that fades fast to nothing. It smells really strongly of peaty malts, dark chocolate, dark fruits, and caramelized sugars and maybe a little bit of oxidation from the screw top bottle after 1+years. The taste is similar to the smell with lots of smokiness up front that fades to a sweet, malty, dark fruit flavor in the back. Plenty of coffee and chocolate evident here as well. The 9%+ alcohol is hardly noticeable at all. The mouthfeel is nice and thick and is expected of a wee heavy. This is a really nice brew but its definitely a sipper. I had this after a huge meal and it was a fitting end to the evening. I was glad to see a local brewery win a gold in the World Beer Cup for wee heavy/strong scotch ale but honestly I think I like the Alesmith Wee Heavy a bit more.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with chadspivey. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed a 1/4" tan head over the slightly cloudy burgundy brew. Head lasts well, with slow-falling lace. Aroma is hearty malts, with some smoke notes. Taste is sweet maltiness, with light tannin and wisps of smoke in the middle, and closes with a touch of bitterness and some rising warmth. Mouthfeel is soft and creamy, with very nice drinkability that will lead me to search this one out again.

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Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have been sitting on this one for almost a year and a half - figured that it was about time to drink it.

Poured a 12oz. bottle into a snifter

Appearance - Pours a deep dark brown color - nearly opaque black. It produced a quickly dissipating 1 finger tannish head. A swirl of the glass brings the head back only briefly. The head retention is pretty poor on this one. It leaves behind minimal to no lacing.

Smell - The smell is really nice here - definitely the key point of this brew. I get a real depth to the scent. I can smell smoky peat, a hint of whiskey, molasses, burnt brown sugar, a hint of chocolate, something nutty, a hint of coffee-like roastiness and dark fruit - figs primarily. There seems to be a hint of oxidation present, but doesn't do much to detract from the overall scent. Good scent

Taste - The taste is nice, but doesn't have the depth that the scent has. Initially I can taste smoky peat, deep caramel with chocolate tones, and a hint of coffee, but the peat dominates - and in my opinion detracts slightly from the brew. Despite this, it still tastes pretty good. The aftertaste is where the boozy whiskey tones primarily show up. Signs of oxidation become more prevalent as the beer warms to room temperature.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel is just so-so here. It is full bodied and sticky as it runs over the tongue. The carbonation level is strange - there is crisp carbonation initially, and is completely flat by the time it gets to the throat.

Drinkability - This is a nice drinkable beer. Nearly perfect nightcap after a hardy meal and a long day at work. Works well as a sipper, but it is pretty damn easy to drink. It is a beer I want to sit and smell for a long time.

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Photo of greenspointexas
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of ecooper
3.52/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a dark, burgundy hue with a small, tan head which dissipates quickly. Leaves a tan ring around the glass till finished, but lacing is minimal.

S - Smells of raisins, chocolate, and some faint coffee aromas.

T - Sweet, rich, malty flavors up front with raisin and dark chocolate tones mixed therein. Finish is crisp and boozy.

M - Medium body and moderate mouthfeel.

D - Relatively low due to its rich flavors, high ABV, and boozy finish.

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Photo of grub
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Viggo shared this one. thanks eric!

12oz bottle. sampled oct 8/08.

poure deep brown with a small very fine tan head. the head quickly drops to a ring around the glass and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is great. my first thought is port. light alcohol and huge dark fruit. date, raisin, fig. chocolate. hint of smoke. rich caramel and toffee. bit of vanilla. bread and biscuit.

taste is good, but not quite as nice as the aroma. milk chocolate, much more than in the aroma. hint of smoke. light caramel and toffee. there's a bit of dark fruit, but not quite as much as in the aroma. still some nice date, fig, and raisin character. alcohol is largely hidden here. bit of oatmeal. white bread. maybe some biscuit too. while the aroma was more port-like this is more like a rich chocolate dessert.

mouthfeel is good. fairly low well integrated carbonation. fairly big body.

drinkability is good. nicely balanced, with the alcohol hidden quite well. great for sipping after a meal (or in this case a long day of brewing). i'd have loved it if the taste was closer to the aroma, but it's still pretty darn good as is. would be interesting to see how it changes with another year or two in the cellar, so i might have to keep my eye out for this one.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Into a nonic, pours a dark brown black with some crimson hues around the edges, not head at beginning or with a swirl and no lacing but for a sticky bubbly film that oozes down the sides. The aroma is strong and malty, some dark, boozy fruits and soda pop.

The pop also translates into the taste, to no good effect, and takes away from what would probably be quite a nice scotch. There is the requisite smoky peats and thicker mouth, but its too carbonated to enjoy properly, and it has a thin feeling finish, though the grains and smoke lingers on. In all, its kind of an odd duck, not the best wee heavy I've had, but still pretty decent.

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Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks again to Bobby for this one.

A: The pour is a dark brown color with a nice off-white head.

S: Plenty of sweet malts along with a nice note of vanilla. Hints of citrus, mainly oranges, as well as some mild peatiness. Some roasted malts and dark chocolate.

T: More roast and coffee notes than are present on the nose. Fairly sweet with some vanilla, and smoke/peatiness. The chocolate is of the dark and bitter variety, quite a nice flavor.

M: The body is medium with a smooth, medium carbonation.

D: One of the best Scotch Ales/Wee Heavies I've had. The peat is not overdone and plenty of good flavors going on.

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Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #4 from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.01 out of 5 with 54 ratings