Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #5 | Saint Arnold Brewing Company

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Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #5Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #5

Brewed by:
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TexIndy on 08-14-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 139 | Ratings: 188
Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A gift from thickerfreakness, a great beer advocate. Thanks a lot Charles.

Poured into a snifter. Divine Reserve #5 pours motor oil black. The head is light brown and about two fingers high in the snifter. It recedes slowly and leaves a little lacing.

The aroma reveals bittersweet chocolate. Some earthy hops linger in the background, but they're mostly overwhelmed by the roasted character and the rich chocolate of the malt. The malt smells sweet. A low level of coffee is present. The alcohol is well hidden in the nose. Some dark fruits are evident but not dominant, maybe figs. The aroma gets better and better as the beer warms from 55 degrees.

The flavor is bittersweet chocolate up front with some alcohol and strong roasted malt. Molasses is present and the alcohol is well hidden for 10% ABV. The roasted finish reveals the strongest coffee flavor yet, but it's still at a low level, which I'm happy about. The alcohol is warming in the finish.

Robust with a low-medium level of carbonation. The mouthfeel has some viscosity, and is smooth and creamy.

A damn fine Russian Imperial Stout.

On a separate note, I don't know how the picture got approved.

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Photo of sonicdescent
4.52/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to JDW for this one as an extra!

Pours a very dark liquid with a very thin layer of mocha head/crown.

Smells fantastic, toffee, caramel, roasted malt, chocolate, cream, maybe a little vanilla.

Taste at first was solid, but unremarkable, but this leaves such a great chocolate and creamy aftertaste. Milky up front. Extremely good.

Mouth is medium to heavy in body, low to med in carbonation.

I hope to get another chance to try this great brew.

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Photo of PhxHorn
4.37/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a deep dark brown, with a very slight tan head. Smells of licorice, coffee, chocolate, and tastes as it smells, which is excellent. A hint of bourbon is in there, too. A nice blend of flavor, up there with any RIS. Mouthfeel was a little thin for a stout, closer to that of a porter. A minor quibble in the big picture. Very drinkable-- I killed this one faster than I do most RIS's. Well worth trying if you can find one.

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Photo of Damian
4.8/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 12 fl oz. bottle
Served in a snifter

Acquired in a trade with thickerfreakness

The beer poured a thick and oily absolute pitch black with a creamy, bubbly, reddish-brown head that quickly faded to a thick, lasting ring. Spotty lacing trickled down the glass.

The aroma was amazingly rich and complex. Loads of semi-sweet, smooth, dark chocolate notes. Licorice also came through strong, along with dark fruits (figs and plums). Some bourbon-like booziness was noticeable as well.

The taste was intense and quite similar to the aroma. Sweeter up front. Rich, dark chocolate notes dominated. Deep, dark, roasted (almost burnt) malts came through strong, along with some brown sugar. Bourbony and somewhat fig-like in the center. A bit reminiscent of a port wine. Strong black licorice notes appeared as well. The lingering, boozy, bitter finish was hoppy and rather piney. As the beer warmed, the hop presence became much stronger. All in all, I was amazed at how dramatically this beer changed from start to finish.

The mouthfeel was creamy and frothy. Smooth and slick on the palate. A touch short of full-bodied. Definitely not the biggest RIS, but impressive nonetheless.

Drinkability was terrific. Few Russian imperial stouts have flavor profiles this balanced and well melded. The 10% ABV was moderately noticeable but it provided a welcomed warming effect.

I can think of few beers that are as complex and as smooth as Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #5. The year-plus of aging on this bottle really seemed to work wonders. Hopefully the folks at Saint Arnold will be brewing this one again soon.

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Photo of br3wmeister
3.92/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Big brown head with good retention and nice lacing. The beer is jet black.

S- Lots of oak and sweet bourbon up front with some chocolate and caramel notes also present. Hints of coffee light hops and a small alcohol sting.

T- Large alcohol presence masks some of the flavors, however some big malty flavors come through. Dark chocolate, and roasted barley make a good appearance with a nice dose of oak.

M- Lots of alcohol sting among this full bodied dark beer.

Overall I would say this is a pretty good beer I really liked the aromas but thought the flavor could be a little more full. A little too much of an alcohol presence in this beer IMO.

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Photo of csmiley
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours out thick and almost black. No light is getting through this one. The mocha colored head is slow to rise and comes to about a quarter inch. It sticks around for a minute or two before settling to a paper thin cap. Some lace remains behind.

S - Aroma is nice. Very nice. Starts out with milk chocolate and vanilla. The middle hints of coffee beans and a little more chocolate. The chocolate is starting to become a little bitter. Just a light hint of alcohol brings up the rear. 10%? Could have fooled me.

T - Complex and very satisfying. Big chocolate flavors just explode all over the palate. They are balanced with the other flavors to an almost perfection. Vanilla and fresh ground coffee beans back up the sweet chocolate. The alcohol that is present seems there only to warm things up a bit.

M - Full bodied with a light carbonation. Finish is big, dry, and smokey. This one doesn't really want to let go. Some of the flavors hang around for what seems like forever.

D - Drinkability is really good. This is an all around great beer. The flavor balance is near perfect. Alcohol is hidden ridiculously well. Wow. St. Arnold Brewing Company hit the nail on the head with the Divine Reserve 5. Highly recommended.

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Photo of DrJay
4.15/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Viggo for bringing this down before EBF.
This beer is black with the faintest of brown edges. It was topped by a thin mocha cap that formed a rocky collar and produced some spotty lacing. Aromas of roast and nuts, semisweet chocolate and malt, plus lots of lactose sweetness. Bitterness melded well with the malt flavours, heavy on milk and bittersweet chocolate. Plenty of roast and sour cherry flavours, plus very faint citrus hops. Full bodied, smooth and creamy with lowish carbonation. Faint warmth and light dryness form the kilned grains. Quite good, very smooth and rich.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
2.5/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 9/19/2007 (bottle):

Pours a pitch black color. Tan head average bubbles, good lacing, but not very lasting. Malty aroma, roasted dark. Coffee. Some alcohol aroma. Coffee and alcohol, roasted. Goes well with sausage. Not really my style but good w/certain foods.

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Photo of akorsak
4.12/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Brianj555 for this 12 oz bottle.

A: The stout is appropriately black. Let's be honest, after x number of stouts, one runs out of colorful adjectives to describe a black beer. I've hit that wall. The head is a tan brown color, offset nicely against the darkness of the beer.

S: The aroma is loaded with rich notes. Milk chocolate, cocoa powder and dark fruits swirl with a noticeable sweetness. A dry nuttiness is also evident.

T: Very rich. The stout is fuller than both of the other stouts that I've enjoyed over the past two days (look 'em up). The sweetness is resounding, layering a smoothness over the roasted grains. The dark flavors are still present, dark and roasted, but they are tempered with many levels of sweetness. Cocoa powder and milk chocolate lead the way, followed by licorice and coffee. A combination of cinnamon and vanilla adds a spicy sweetness that is rather fleeting. Lactic sweetness lingers long after a sip is gone.

M: The ale is remarkably rich, sweet and deep. There is no harshness in this beer, even with the breadth of dark malts.

D: This doesn't feel like 10%. A warming stout that has a sweet profile.

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Photo of Overlord
4.52/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This had been a particularly hard brew to acquire. Thanks to D0B!

Pours a viscous, slimy black. Mmmm... thirty weight. A beautiful crust of dark brown foam. Too bad it's gone and turns into bubbles so quickly, it was nice.

Shitload of bourbon, woodsy tones, chocolate, espresso, vanilla, molasses, and brown sugar in the nose.

Taste basically reflects the smell. Ahhhh...nice. Vanilla, bourbon, dark, bitter chocolate, some sweet molasses .. .this is just great. Some dark fruits make an appearance to give it a bit of balance. Plums and figs. There's also a very unexpected roasty hop bitterness that's quite pleasant.

I'm surprised that the mouthfeel is only good. For such a syrupy looking beer, I thought i'd be thicker.

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Photo of tjthresh
3.26/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle that pours opaque dark brown with a fizzy brown head. The aroma is sweet chocolate covered raisins with a bit of a twang to it. Bitter chocolate flavors with some raisins and coffee. That funny twang is still there. Medium body. High carbonation. Dry finish. Just sort of okay.

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Photo of HoustonTX
4.55/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 Year and 3 months since my first taste of this divine concoction.
This is an update on how it's held up since then.

Jet black body, with a thin dark mocha head.
Aroma is still densely chocolaty, with fringes of toffee, chocolate, toffee, and creme. Wonderful aroma still, very pleasing to the senses. Taste is still huge. Enormous amounts of dark coffee beans, hazelnut, rich chocolate, cocoa, sweet toffee, brown sugar, caramel, residual sugars, burnt toast, and fringes of light vanilla. Absolutely extrodinary.

This beer has held up and then some. By far one of the best RIS ever brewed. This is a beer that proudly makes me say, I'm from Houston Texas damnit. Just phenomenal.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Dave for sharing this on New Beer Sunday.

A - Thick, generous creamy mocha head with some attractive lacing. Black as night.

S - Roast barley, plums, currants, chocolate, coffee with cream, and a slightly acidic port. This smells delicious!

T - There's more molasses and malt barely in the taste, as well as the chocolate and creamy coffee. Perfect balance of dark chocolate bitterness ad malt sweetness. There's also a touch of oak flavor.

M - Smooth, creamy, with nice slight carbonation. Could a tiny bit thicker, however.

D - Awesome - I can't taste the booze at all. I wish this beer came in bombers (and that it wasn't a limited release). Went down really easy and was definitely the highlight of this New Beer Sunday.

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Photo of SQNfan
3.8/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured black in color with a moderate brown head of fine bubbles that faded away. The nose showed aromas of sweet dark fruit, dark caramel, and chocolate. In the mouth this was malt-driven with flavors of dark fruit, caramel and chocolate. This was well-balanced by fine carbonation in the midpalate. In time this lost the overly sweet caramel flavors and aroms making this more Stout-like.

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Photo of brdc
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Small capped bottle, thanks to splitgrin.
Poured into a snifter.

Pitch black, with a thin tan head, decent lacing.
Aroma is very nice, although it could use a bit more power. Chocolate predominates, coffee and milk, roasted malts.
Velvety, and if not extremely complex, it is a very tasty example of a RIS; slightly towards the sweeter side, coffee and milk with cream, bittersweet chocolate, with some level of roastiness to provide a balance. Just a small amount of hoppiness, and alcohol is nowhere to be noticed. Very easy to drink.
A very impressive brew, I just hope folks in Texas get a few cold nights to enjoy this one. I wish they would brew this yearly.

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Photo of armock
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to TheGentelman for hooking me up with a bottle.

A - Poured a jet black color with a tan head that leaves lacing behind on my glass

S - Is of roasted malt coffee and toffee with only a slight bit of alcohol in the nose

T - Absolutely wonderful the roasted malt provides a chocolate and toffee flavor with minimal alcohol warmth

M - This beer has a full creamy smooth body with light carbonation to it

D - For a 10% abv beer this is supper easy to drink with a great taste thats drinks so smoothly Saint Arnold needs to brew this beer again one of the best RISs that I've had definitely worth hunting down to try

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Photo of champ103
3.58/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A big thanks to The Gentleman for this one.

A: This pours pitch black. A large tan head (over two fingers forms) with great retention. As the foam gently recedes, sticky spiderweb looking lace is left all the way down my snifter.
S: A huge roasted malt flavor over takes the nose. Lots of chocolate, toffee, and coffee. Some warming booze as well. This smells wonderful.
T: Bitter dark chocolate at first. Some sweet toffee flavors and roasted malt. Also plenty of alcohol. Astringent and oxidized as well.
M/D: A medium to full body. Low on the carbonation end. Kind of vinegary. Even after a year of aging there is a ton of warming alcohol. Though it is a very nice beer to sip on.

Not my favorite of the DR series or the style. Though, if you can still get your hands on some in a trade , it is worth a try.

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Photo of roadhouse
3.98/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

Appearance is thick and viscous, pitch black, with a one inch tan head. Leaves some decent lacing behind.

The aroma is very different from many RIS but quite good. It is chocolaty for sure but there is a component to it that is even more dominant that I can't quite describe. I want to call it a dark fruit character, but it's slightly different. Kind of like berries but it's almost vinous. Slight amount of coffee presence in the way back as well.

The taste is chocolaty up front as well, with the same dark fruit/vinous character coming through just as strong as the aroma. Becomes more roasty as it's being swallowed with a hint of charred wood and a general coffee-like roasted bitterness. Actually seems like there's quite a bit of hops in there as well.

Mouthfeel is nice, medium-full in body, with a creamy touch.

Overall I have to say I was a bit disappointed with this one. Still, it's very tasty and worth seeking out.

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Photo of nrbw23
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a black color with a nice brown head. Head has decent retention and left a layer of bubbles down the side of my glass.

S- Initially smells of rich, sweet chocolate. Very sweet smelling. Alcohol actually comes through pretty strong in the nose. Dark fruit aromas (raisin and prune) are present and add complexity. Roasted malts are present, but are more on the back burner. Also just a bit of roasted coffee rounds it out.

T- Chocolate malts are rich and sweet. Roasted malts indeed take a back seat, but are stronger than the nose would lead you to believe. Very flavorful. Dark fruit flavors are blended well and complement the other elements nicely. Roasted coffee flavor is present and comes on relatively strong toward the end. Overall pretty sweet with just a touch of bitterness at the very end.

M- Full bodied and very creamy and smooth. Almost has a silky feel to it. Carbonation is a low and is right on.

D- Easy to drink and probably more of a sipper. Thanks again Jonathan.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of joe1510
4.17/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz Stubby

I got this awhile back from a great trader down in Texas, TPoling, thanks Travis! Of course this big RIS gurgles into the glass the blackest of blacks, nearly sucking the light up in the room. A stronger than normal pour yields a one finger mocha head that quickly dissipates to a solid cap with an even thicker collar. The carbonation can be seen colliding with the head and helping with the staying power.

The nose is packed full of roastiness and under ripe dark berries, blackberry leading the way with spicy under ripe blueberry no far behind. Dark and somewhat bitter chocolate play a huge role in the nose of this hefty stout. The more my nose is in the glass the more I pull out including big whiffs of black coffee and roastiness. Anise in the form of black licorice plays a good role as well. This beer just keeps on morphing and getting better. The nose is very peppery, spicy.

The flavor losses a little something from the nose but is still very close, and good. The roastiness isn't quite as bold as the nose suggests but the spicy under ripe berry plays a prominent role. High cocoa content dark chocolate abounds in this brew with a solid, somewhat bitter black coffee kick. There's a touch of heavy cream in there but it stays in the background with the roastiness. This is a damn fine stout.

The carbonation is on the low side while the body is on the dense side which makes for a velvety, slow moving, tongue coating mouthfeel. The body of this RIS is right where it needs to be and I can't get enough.

The sheer size and brute strength of this brew will limit the drinkability right off the bat. What's in my glass takes awhile to drink and now that it's about gone I wish I had a few more bottles lying around. I could easily drink a few of these in a long night although I may be sleeping where I sit.

A big thanks goes out to Travis for this brew! This is up there at the top of the style. A very good all around RIS that I would love to see get brewed again. The flavors are so robust and rich it's a sheer joy to drink. Thanks.

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Photo of maximum12
4.85/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First, big thanks to AdamB84 for sending his last bottle of this my way. After sending out some queries via bmail, posting an ISO, & coming up empty, I figured I wouldn't get to try this brew of my favorite style. Luckily, a bottle finally landed on my doorstep.

Holy mother...shit. Damn.

Two years under the screwcap proved OK, as the beer popped convincingly then foamed up a bit on the pour. The smell...the smell...


This is the finest smelling beer I've nosed into to date, a judgement verified by the wife, whom I split this with. Neither of us took a sip for several minutes. My wife sat curled in the comfy chair, nose in the beer, watching terrible reality TV. Smells fucking great. Chocolates, a hint of bitter bite.

Taste is almost perfect. Dark chocolate, that chittle of bitter again, almost hoppiness which I know is impossible after two years, a dark roast & eye-sliver of coffee.

After all that fine taste, its creamy & smooth & goes down easy as anything that tastes this great. I am sad, nay, weepy that I only have a single half-bottle of this to savor. One of the best beers I've had.

Please brew this again. I need another.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.35/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from mikesgroove courtesy of the I Want That IV BIF, so a big Thank You goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a thin light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of sweet dark fruits, chocolate, roasted malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste is very well-balanced for the style with strong flavors of dark chocolate, roasted espresso and dark fruits. There's a little bit of smokiness and the very hearty dark malt character that you'd expect from the style. There's a mild hops presence that brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, strong kick, excellent representation of style, this is a very good big stout to drink for as long as you can handle it.

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Photo of rhinos00
4.62/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale snifter.

A- Dark brown, almost black. Very little tan colored head formed and disappeared in an instant.

S- Nice chocolate smell with sweet malts that pierce the chocolate veil. Just a wonderful aroma.

T- Once this beer hit the right temperature, it was perfect. Robust chocolate flavors, with sweet malts and molasses flavor.

M- The one "negative" aspect of this beer was the feeling it left on the mouth. Even though it was thick and viscous, it left a dry feeling on the palate.

D- Had no problem putting down a 12 oz. bottle of this wonderfully crafted brew. The fact that it comes in a bottle this size definitely makes it more drinkable.

Overall, big thanks to drseamus for giving me the opportunity to try another quality RIS. Must try for any BA.

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Photo of Goliath
4.58/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Foam sweet foam under the cap.

Pours black and completely opaque with a half inch mocha colored head. I had to pour it from about a foot above my snifter to generate any real head, which was a feat in itself. Decent retention but no real lacing.

The aroma is awesome. Big chocolate notes dominate this beer. A slightly floral hop is still present after all this time as well. Just beautiful.

The taste is quite nice. Again, big chocolate notes but more of a bitter dark chocolate. I was getting sweet milk chocolate off the nose which is part of my disappointment. Guess I should have my nose checked. The dark malts are slightly roasty, and present a very minimal coffee note. A really tiny hint of a floral hop is still present, which brings a special note to the beer. Really a tasty RIS.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and lightly carbonated with a fine and gentle bubble.

Drinkability is high. This is a smooth drinking beer. Nice flavor and great body combined with a great nose and apearance make for a total package beer.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.41/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - pours thick and inky black with a dark mocha cap into the Beer Hunter snifter. Lays down some good lines of ropy lace around the top of the glass.

Aroma - big chocolate syrup burst initially. Backs off a little but still smells good and chocolatey.

Taste - deeply roasted malts with a little char. A light sweetness segues to the great dark chocolate flavor. The swallow shows some nice enhancing abv, a little bitterness/char to go with a finishing roasty warmth.

Mouthfeel - full feeling, not exactly heavy though. Carbonation is fairly bubbly, good smoothness to go with.

Drinkability - thanks to Phawk for getting me some of these at DLD08. Good stuff Pete! A fine Austin treat with the ability to age. The cap syas 'Ale to the chief' - shoulda had this last week, eh? ;-)

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Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #5 from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
4.34 out of 5 based on 188 ratings.
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