Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #8 | Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #8Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #8
139 Ratings
Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #8Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #8

Brewed by:
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by champ103 on 09-10-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 139 |  Reviews: 92
Photo of Jmoore50
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very hazy, murky, cloudy rusty copper color. This thing is dirty looking with a half finger white head that leaves nothing behind. Nice alcoholic legs with no lacing. The ABV is present in the look.

The smell is weak, with some sweet candy malt smells. Nothing else really present in the smell other than the candy sugar and a bit of ABV.

The taste is pretty delicious. Like the nose the malt comes through strong, but then again this is a Scotch Ale so that is not uncharacteristic. Some fruity sweet hops are there as well as some of the ABV. The 9.3% ABV is just an underlying flavor in this big ale. Some dark fruits such as apricots and plumbs are present as well.

The mouthfeel is over carbonated. The flavors in this beer would of been better represented if there was a smoother, lighter carbonation. ABV is not a problem.

The drinkability is good because it tastes great. A little on the over carbonated side but that is not a knife in the heart.

Try it.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From augustgarage, a super kick-ass extra. Thanks, buddy!

I am not really too familiar with scotch ales. I was into them for a while before I really got into craft (I drank a number of Smuttynose Scotch Ales before I knew what Smuttynose was... amazing how little one can pay to what they're drinking). I just went for the one with the flower on it. I remember liking them, too. Well, here we go.

A- Into a standard pint (damn you, broken snifter!). This is a rich, dirty penny copper with minimal off-white, buttercream head. A bit of swirling and it looks very nice.

S- Rich caramel... butterscotch, and, well, scotch. Mildly smoky, as well... but it's damn faint.

T- Scotch! Peat smoke, the sweetness of the whiskey comes through, as does a mild vanilla I'd expect to find in a bourbon barrel beer. Heavenly taste on this one.. I'm impressed. There's a mild pipe tobacco or wet cigar taste that is different from the peat smoke notes... this one has some complexity on it.

M- Nice, thick, slow-moving, yet fairly carbonated. Pretty much spot on... not really my style of expertise but I'm pleased at the balance of this one. Alcohol is there... except in a good, flavorful way. I love beers that embrace instead of mask the alcohol notes. Very good.

D- Moderate, but very good. I'd have another if I had one. I'd buy a bunch of this if I was in its distribution area. As it stands, this is an excellent beer and one that I'm glad I got to try. Totally unsolicited, but a home run. Don't you love it when it works out like that?

Thanks, augustgarage!

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Photo of pwsoldier
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours deep, cloudy mahogany with a creamy off-white head that dissipates fairly quickly. Lacing is scant.

S - Very malty, as expected. Notes of raisins, plum, and a hint of cinnamon make the nose very complex and enticing.

T - Notes of alcohol and spice come through up front, followed quickly by a heavy yet smooth sweetness that carries over into the finish. Notes of dark fruit are the most dominant, with a hint of vanilla coming through as well.

M - Full-bodied with a heavy, sweet finish.

D - It's a bit of a whopper, but quite enjoyable. I'll definitely be having more in the future though. I have a few more bottles set aside to age.

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Photo of brentk56
3.45/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Starts out as one of those beers that is all head but as I gauge the pour, the beer delivers a murky amber color with a creamy beige head that leaves a nice pattern

Smell: Caramel, hints of smoke and a bit of fusel alcohol

Taste: Toffee and multi-grain bread flavors, up front, with a bit of citrus fruit and fusel alcohol developing by mid-palate; after the swallow, the smokey peat flavors join in, though the beer finishes rather sweet

Mouthfeel: Thick body with prickly carbonation

Drinkability: A pretty decent wee heavy, though it may take some time to come together; still it has some flaws that may also hinder it over time

Thanks, MiguelMandingo, for the opportunity

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Photo of Mauerhan
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to Drew (wagenvolks) for this.

Clear amber pour till i got to the yeasties at the bottom of the bottle. nice 1 finger head.

Yeasty smell strong malt character. almost mossy. good smell. caramel. some biscuity notes.

taste is sweet and slightly earthy. Biscuits and caramel. Wood and some fruity figs/raisins.

smooth drink with a medium bodied carbonation. Very nice. Low burn near the end but overall very easy to drink. Perfect for the changing of the weather. I am excited to see what happens with a bit of age on this.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.37/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Saw Billy Mays selling this stuff and just had to get some. 6th bottle was free!

Pours a suprisingly clear amber/ruby color with a large easy forming light tan head that retains well and leaves nice lacing.

Nose is huge with chocolate and peat. A little bit of smoke, and sweet malt rears its head as well.

Hmmm. Very nice, but not as nice as the nose indicated. Big notes of peat are the first thing i notice, as they are prominent all the way through. Straight up geese in the bog type shit. Large chocolate flavors are also there and mingle with some smoke and nutty sweetness. The finish is smooth and creamy, and leaves peat and sweet malt lingering on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is pretty damn good. Nice and viscous without being soup. Carbonation is a touch low, but i like that in a beer of this kind. Good slick creamy finish.

Drinkability is actually pretty solid. The abv is not noticeable at first, but does put a good kick of warmth into the stomach as it settles. Could put down a couple of these without issue though.

Overall this is a very nice wee heavy. They really nailed the scotch ale flavors, and turned them all up a notch with this imperial sort of variety. Seems like it would be great with a year or two of age on it as well. NOTE TO SAINT ARNOLD. PLEASE AGE THIS IN SOME BOURBON BARRELS!!! I think this beer would truly be something special if it were properly aged in bourbon barrels. A fine beer as is though, excellent example of the style. And big thanks to Austin's Executive chef of the future, stopbarking for the bottles.


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Photo of bshirley
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A few months after being initially available. Decanted from bottle, a dark hazy copper to medium brown color. Quite a bit of yeast left in the last ounce. Nice head with medium to fine bubbles.

The nose has a whiff of strong alcohol and is yeasty.

Has a sweet taste with currant and smokey flavor, balanced but not overpowering bittering hops. The smoke flavor lingers. A medium full mouthfeel, with some alcohol heat, and velvety bubbles.

Extremely drinkable and tasty on this cool evening.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep copper color ale with a large foamy head with OK retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of sweet caramelized malt is dominating with light toffee notes and some lingering smoke. Taste is sweeter then expected with loads of caramelized malt and sweet toffee with a light smoky finish. Body is quite full with limited filtration and good carbonation with no signs of alcohol. Well done though a bit sweet for my taste - bonus point for the smoke notes thought.

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Photo of grub
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Viggo brought this one over. thanks eric!

12oz bottle. sampled oct 29/09.

pours hazy light brown, fading to orange at the edges. the thin layer of fine tan head quickly fades to a ring around the glass and leaves a bit of spotty lace.

aroma is good. caramel and toffee. hint of smoke. big biscuit and multi-grain bread malt. light alcohol. bit of toast. earthy and a bit woody. light candied fruit, more leaning to citrus than dark fruit.

taste is great. nice mellow smokey presence. bit of dark chocolate. caramel and toffee. bit of butterscotch. biscuit and multi-grain bread. lightly warming alcohol. woody. slightly earthy. just a hint of dark fruit, but pretty mellow. low bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. medium-large body, but with a fairly dry finish. slightly prickly medium carbonation - i'd have liked something a little mellower.

drinkability is good. good balance. just the right amount of smokey character so that it compliments without dominating. great depth. a tasty wee heavy.

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Photo of Viggo
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, huge thanks to GregMcQ for hooking me up once again.

Pours a cloudy very dark orange/amber, some brownish highlights, thin off white head forms, slowly settles settles to a thin ring around the glass, a few small spots stick.

Smell is very sweet and fruity, caramel, raisin puree, light peat and smokiness, very earthy, dates, touch of chocolate sweetness, woody, toffee pudding, brown sugar, a bit of alcohol, quite nice.

Taste is nice as well, biscuity, toffee, bread, brown sugar, wood, peat and smoke, lots of raisin, very fruity and caramelized, brown sugar, earth, honey dates, light chocolate wafer dryness in the finish, some alcohol, nice and malty.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with medium carbonation, maybe a little too lively for the style. Some warmth going down, real nice malt character and I really like the peat. Thanks Greg!!

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Photo of roblowther
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Courtesy of my beer mentor, Bill.

Pours cloudy gold brown with a persistent wafer-thin (Monty Python accent implied here) head. Smells smoky and oaky. And other stuff that rhymes. Tastes rich and chocolate up front, then a strong peat finish. Very nice maltiness that makes you feel like you just ate a muffin. Makes me burp smoke and a hint of something sharp. Drinkable but the strong flavors make this an occasional treat, not a beer for the evening.

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Photo of Ezekiel81923
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Received a few bottles of this via trade with MiguelMandingo. Thanks again Mike! Poured into a Sierra Nevada pint glass.

Appearance: Deep Brownish color with a little bit of an orange hue to it. Poured aggressively which stirred up about a 2 finger head that dissipated after a few minutes, leaving a foamy ring over the top afterward. Some lacing.

Smell: Definitely a malt driven aroma with some alcohol in there. Slight smokey smell hidden in there as well. Not terribly sweet.

Taste: Malt driven, toffee, some smokiness and some yeast flavors. Sweeter than the nose suggested. Some brown sugar comes through more as it warms, and the alcohol warms your mouth a little bit as well.

Mouthfeel: Lots of tiny carbonation bubbles everywhere. Slight warming from the alcohol as I mentioned before. Light-medium body which seems odd given the strong flavor and malt aroma's.

Drinkability: Drank one. Could've had another. Nothing about this one stops you from grabbing a second, except maybe the ABV.

First offering from Saint Arnold's I've tried. Pretty solid. Scotch Ale's and Wee Heavy's are still a little new to me, but I liked this one.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours very little head with almost zero retention and an amber color.

Smell is of some dark raisins and a slight bit of pale chocolate. However, a distinctive solventy smell starts to linger and messes everything up. As the beer warms up, a dinstinctive smokiness comes through

Taste is a little bit hot from the alcohol, but the dark crystal and bit of dark fruits with a slight hint of pale chocolate malt really meld nicely. Also a good bit of smokiness comes through as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is somewhat dry, but the beer is very malty.

My biggest issue with this beer is the solventy nose and the fusel alcohols. I think that this could be a much better beer if it was aged longer. My suggestion to anyone who has this beer is to age it for at least 2 years.

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Photo of mar
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

deep ruby with an off white head. nose is rich malts with caramel, peat, fruits and slight smoke. nice thickness with a great flavor of peat and rich caramel malts with a hint of smoke in the finish. not a hint of alcohol either. i've heard mixed reviews about this beer and i've noticed firsthand differences between bottles though.

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Photo of JamnesCameron
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Another bottle traded with jasonlewis. Thanks Jason for the brew!

Don't get St. Arnold in Chi-town, so this is a treat.

Poured in a tulip glass.

A - Hazy deep coppper, cannot see through it, not much light gets through. light head that does not last, slight white foam ring on top after sitting for a few minutes.

S - malt dominates aroma, some chemical aromas of calcium carbonate -chalky, flinty aroma. Some alcohol present in aroma as well. After first taste, still canno detect smoke in aromas.

T - first sip - peaty, smoky malt. A little astrigent. aftertaste is sweet smoke.

M - full, malty, smoky

D - I like peaty Scotch Ales, but this is a little more smoke than I care for. Would be great with a pulled pork sandwich, though. or some labor day ribs on the grill.

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Photo of natelocc787
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice example, I understand the style is a little different but compared to other high end Scotch ales this one is no slouch. Leathery, buttery, earthy tobacco leaf and dark cherries soaked in scotch. Aroma was nicely done but didn't have the WOW factor. Mouthfeel was outstanding. Heavy, syrupy nectar-like feel with a nice chewiness as well. Perfect carbonation. Very drinkable.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in trade from TexIndy, thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a solid dark brown with beautiful ruby highlights when held to light. One finger off white head dissipates quickly to a cap. Smells of smoke, toffee and burnt sugar. Slightly fruity on the nose with a touch of alcohol in there as well. Taste is toffee and caramel infused with some light fruits a touch of alcohol in the middle with a lingering smokey peat in the finish. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, carbonation is moderate, and the body is full. This a great brew that continues to grown on me with every sip.

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Photo of peterjk
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Cloudy brown, light brown head is thin and fades quickly.

S: Smokey notes, fresh cut sweet apple, Belgian yeast notes, wet earth, toasted nuts. Not a huge amount of sweetness on the nose, which is interesting given how sweet the beer tastes.

T: Awesome! Smokey, toffee, brown sugar, toasted nuts, creamy cola. Some mild yeast flavor. Lots of great flavors floating around in this beer. Like any great beer the taste evolves as it warms up. I've had it in the bottle (malt character dominates) and on tap (yeasty notes make it taste like a wee heavy / Belgian double combination).

M: Big time small bubble carbonation make it feel kind of like champagne in the mouth. It's a little thin considering the big flavor.

D: Given the intense flavors and the sweetness this beer is very easy to drink, too bad it'll be gone soon.

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Photo of Ruslanchik
3.74/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Beer is opaque dark brown with a fizzy light brown head. The beer never really produced much head, just the slightest bit that quickly faded into a small collar.

S: Mostly caramelly malt with just a touch of alcohol. No evidence of hops here. Fairly straight-forward.

T: The taste is much more complex than the aroma. A firm bitterness is present throughout. There is not as much sweetness as the aroma suggested. More bready, but also tart maltiness. There is a trace of chocolate towards the end and the aftertaste definitely has some smoke in it. Doesn't quite match up my expectations. This feels a little harsh. A couple years in the cellar would do it good.

M: Thinner body and higher carbonation than I expected. This adds to the harshness.

D: At 9.6% abv this beer was never intended to be a sessioned, however I don't think it is as drinkable as the brewer had hoped.

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Photo of Sweasty
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The newest Divine Reserve pours a murky brown. Things are topped off by a short khaki head. The head quickly dissipates to a ring. Plenty of lacing is left down the glass.

The aroma does not disappoint. The nose packs plenty of sweet caramel and toffee. There are some light fruity esters. A bit of smoky peat and earthiness round things out.

The taste packs a wallop. Tons of caramel malt upfront. Caramel blends in with some sticky toffee notes. Raisins show up mid palate. Thats followed by some light chocolate notes notes. Plenty of sweet brown sugar shows up near the end. The finish is sweet with a lingering earthy/peat quality.

This beer is full bodied and velvety on the tongue. The carbonation is more than adequate.

This is another topnotch addition to the Divine Reserve series. It is one of the best scotch ales i have had the pleasure of drinking. It goes down smooth. Quite the easy drinker, especially given its strength.

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Photo of DeathbySexyBT
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let me preface this review by saying a few things. First, I typically do not care too much for Scotch Ales. I just find them to be a 'dime a dozen' and have struggled to find one that set itself apart from the crowd (in a good way). Second, I have been telling myself for so long to temper my expectations because there will never be another #5 (Prove me wrong, guys...please!) and I know I do not care for the style.

A: Tan head that went the way of Old Yeller all too quickly. Dark and cloudy like a leather storm cloud.

S: Dark oily cigar notes with a dose of toffee and burnt sugars to add to the nose. Fruity esthery aromas seem just out of reach, but you can almost tell they are there. What a tease.

T: That cigar smokiness is here in good measure. It is important to note here that this is very reminiscient of cigar smoke to me; not BBQ nor Liquid Smoke as I seem to keep running into with other beers. Cocoa, coffee, and toffee all make appearances here as the beer warms. There is almost an herbal finish to this. No real hop presence to speak of, which is fine. The beer is tasty enough without them.

M: You would never guess that this is a 10% beer by the taste of it. Sure it is a little boozy, but I have tasted bigger booze out of 8%s on more than one occasion. Smooth and easy going. Spot on with the body and bubbles.

D: I would drink this 'til the cows come home if it weren't so hard to come by.

I cannot wait to see how this ages. A buddy and I have a sixer in the cellar as of last night.

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Photo of jbphoto88
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I still don't get the screw cap on this bottle, especially when they are tightened so much that you need an opener or gorilla grip anyway. The 8 pours a deep caramelized brown with orange and ambers. The head is thin and tan and if you look away you'll miss it. The liquid seems thick and is on the hazy murky side of things.

Nose is gritty and slightly boozy that dominates the smell. Beyond that there is a scents of ripe fruits, caramelized grains and a smoked chocolate. I feel that this one could still use some time in the cellar to mellow that booze scent and let the other characteristics mature.

Ok the taste brings this beer back in from the ledge. Sweet grains that are gently toasted mixed with over ripe but still tasty cantaloupe. A thin shroud of peat smoked grains finish the brew and yield another great layer of flavor. I can't be sure but I also get a cayenne peppery note that compliments a light chocolaty flavor.

The mouthfeel is smooth and slick but with a flattering bittering hops and crisp carbonation. The beer has a nice feel to it and is well balanced between sweet and smoke. Well done and probably going to even better after a few months in the cellar.

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Photo of hoplover82
3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow... haven't had many wee heavys, but this is very smoky.

A-Pours a very hazy deep orangy red that has an almost tan creamy head that has pretty good retention and leaves solid lacing as it moves down the glass.

S-Of coarse in a beer like this, you will up front, get a strong smokiness. Then I also pick up a tobaccoy earthiness. Some slightly sweet toffee. And a doughy fresh baked bread aroma as well.

T-The flavor is also very smoky. And the toffee sweetness comes through more in the flavor. There is a present bitterness to keep it from being cloying in the least. There is a but too much alcohol presence for my palate. I would really like it to be more hidden. Hot alcohol is always a big turn off for me.

M-Full bodied indeed and very creamy. Also, that alcohol sting is a turn off.

D-Not too drinkable given the abv and hot alcohol. But I did enjoy this beer very much. I would suggest trying it if you hadn't.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass. Received through an in-person trade with MiguelMandingo. Thanks a bunch, Mike!

A: Pours a murky mahogany body that lightens to copper at the edges. The head is a cream-colored affair that retains poorly, receding into a light collar and a swirl of bubbles on top of the brew. Fine, lazy bubbles up the glass give it a viscous and syrupy appearance. Very tantalizing. No lacing to speak of.

S: Earthy tobacco, leather, smoke, and mulch. Some toffee and brown sugar. I'm pretty impressed; it's very interesting and organic.

T: Starts off with brown sugar and toffee. The earth, tobacco, leather, and smoke that I smelled are not as strong as they were on the nose; more of an undercurrent to the overall sweet profile. The finish is all nuts and ginger, with an aftertaste distinctly reminiscent of a [craft] ginger ale. The exhalation is all smoke and ginger. A beautiful assortment of flavors and variety. I don't get any hops, but the beer doesn't need them. There are hints of chocolate as the brew warms, but I can't place it at any particular point in the taste. My only complaint here is the ginger-ale-like finish, which starts getting annoying midway through the glass.

M: Surprisingly well-hidden ABV; it goes down very easily for something that's almost 10%. Its medium-full body is well buoyed by fine bubbles at a moderate carbonation level, which cleanses the palate neatly.

D: I've got a second bottle to share; I'm looking forward to partaking in that one as well. A well-done scotch ale.

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Photo of drunkboxer1
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Hazy copper/brown. Smells sweet, almost like brown sugar. Tastes like caramel, a little smokey maybe. There are some dark fruity flavors in there as well. No real hop bitterness that I can tell, the maltiness may just be kicking its ass so bad I can't tell its there. Drinks absurdly easy for over nine percent. I feel like it'll be better with a few more months aging though.

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Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #8 from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 139 ratings
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