Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #8 | Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
91 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 91 | Ratings: 138
Photo of WorldWideStout
4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received as an extra in trades with Ezekiel81923 and JJFoodie. Thanks to Ryan and Justin, I can have one now and see what another year does to the brew as well!

A: Looks a lot like apple cider. Murky brownish-orange body, with a white head that only lasted a few seconds.

S: A gentle, yet pervasive smokiness is what greets my nostrils first. There's a little bacon in it, but it's mostly smoky in the way a campfire smells. Behind it is tangy fruit - lemons, apples, and (dare I put it in the same sentence?), oranges. There is a slight note of chocolate at the end.

T: Begins with a more sweet fruit flavor of apples. Then towards the middle tanginess comes in, along with a similar smoke to the nose and some chocolate, which I didn't get until halfway through the bottle. As this wanes, the sweeter flavors creep back in. The aftertaste is a bit of the smokiness, which lingers for five to ten seconds.

M: Nothing special, but lets the flavor shine through.

D: Gut. Beer is balanced and tasty. 9.3 % abv, eh? Feels like 5 or 6.

A tasty, somewhat unique beer. Not as complex as it could be, but the flavors meld together well. I hope other breweries experiment with combining smoky and fruity flavors.

 1,213 characters

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

12oz bottle obtained via Local BIF from twiggamortis420. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint, formed a 1" orangey tan head above the cloudy orangey copper brew. Head lasts well, with coating lacing that falls ever so slowly. Aroma is leathery and fruity. Taste starts with tannins, dried fruits in the middle, with a melding of flavors at the close, and light warming. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is quite good. Excellent.

 455 characters

Photo of gford217
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle courtesy of EinWeizenbitte.

Pours a murky caramel brown with a healthy cream-colored head that recedes pretty quickly and leaves only spotty lacing.

The aroma is extremely sweet with a healthy dose of smoke. The caramel malts and dark fruits dominate with toffee as well. But lingering in the back is the smoked wood and peat that makes the nose more complex than most in the style.

The taste is just as complex with an initial blast of sweetness - molasses, caramel, toffee and raisins. The finish is much drier than I was expecting with some oak, smoked malts and peat.

The mouthfeel is extremely smooth overall but with a light dryness mentioned before. The carbonation is moderate but seems softer.

This is an excellent Scotch ale that has a very intriguing smokey element that adds some complexity that I don't normally get in the style. It's also very drinkable, as evidenced by the fact that the alcohol is non-existent to me. Another Divine Reserve, another winner.

 990 characters

Photo of hoppymcgee
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Chris for this wonderful extra. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Trois Pistoles goblet.

A: Pours a caramel color with little to no head, but you can tell there's carbonation that settles down to decadent swirls.

S: Smoke, tobacco, malts, and woodchips. A little bit of a toffee aroma in the background.

T: Complex. A little hoppy, caramelly, and smoky. Mostly sweet all the way through, but not cloying as there's a little bitterness from the chocolate/coffee aspect to the beer.

M: The best feature of this beer. If this beer had an oily or slick mouthfeel I would not like it. It's got great "tight" carbonation that you can feel on the tongue.

D: Pretty easygoing for 9.3% ABV. Maybe I'm just used to drinking stronger beers now? Who knows, but I definitely haven't had too many of this style.

Overall, another goodie from Saint Arnold's "Divine" series. Still seeking out the earlier Reserves!

 915 characters

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

A nice drinker for the style.A good change of pace, early in a tasting. Some decent yeast, nice malt job. Still I could not not drink pint after pint. Thanks to the legend, bullseye11. Big head, decent carbonation complementing abve averaeg mouthfeel. A bit of tabacco, finishes on the slightly sweet side of sweet spice.

 321 characters

Photo of pwoods
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. brown bottle poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours a deep amber brown, murky with lots of sediment. Big 2 finger head with good retention and some lacing.

S: Rich malts with only a touch of sweetness. Plenty of woody and smoky aromas, maybe some peat behind it all.

T/M: More of the rich malts. Lots of wood and smoke and peat. No hops to speak of. Body is medium full with nice carbonation.

D: ABV is pretty well hidden but definitely there. The big smoke and peat get to ya toward the end. Interesting but not something I'll return to.

 548 characters

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

This was an extra (gift) in a CANQuest trade and since I now have off until Tuesday (this is Thursday night), I figured that I would sit down and enjoy some of the beer hanging out in my refrigerator awaiting just such an opportunity.

The pour gave me two thick fingers of medium-tan head with good retention. Man, I could smell this one right away! Color was a hazy deep-amber, possibly due to some lees at the bottom of the bottle that I inadvertently poured into the glass. I have long said that clarity is over-rated, plus the lees do not bother me, so I am down with all of it. Nose was, to this self-avowed hophead, super sweet. It smelled like caramel or toffee along with some chocolatiness. Is a Heath bar a bad analogy? Mouthfeel was full and creamy, in fact, it felt like having a scoop of ice cream in my mouth - thick, creamy, sweet, even buttery. No, it was not diacetyl. Instead, it reminded me of Butter Brickle ice cream, which uses chunks of toffee, IIRC. Finish was smoooth, but at 9.30%, it went down mighty easily. Scarily so. After the first couple of hits on this, I began to feel its intensity creeping over me. One bottle was nice, but it would satiate me for a while afterward.

 1,204 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.64/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - A murky orangish-brown color, with a lot of cabronation and about an inch of head with no retention.

s - Smells strongly of malts, mostly roasted, and some barely. Also smells somewhat sweet, like dark fruits.

t - The first thing that I got a taste of was creamy and roasted malts. It also tastes somewhat sweet, like dark fruits again, but not as sweet as I was expecting. Later on comes some alcohol taste as well as toffee or caramel.

m - Medium body with a lot of carbonation, this was very smooth and creamy.

d - Overall this was a nice ale. It smelled and tasted heavily of roasted and sweet malts, as well as some dark fruits. I thought the alcohol came through a little on the taste so I wouldn't drink more than one, but it was a very solid ale.

 810 characters

Photo of stoutfiend27
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle received by ottovon..poured into goblet

a-deep bronze color...no head....light lacing on top and collar around...bubbles are there

s-musty sweet malt character....some bread and caramel in the mid...heavy caramelized malts dominate the finish

t-starts a bit sweet but the caramel and roast really meet together in the middle to hold this together before it gets cloying...the finish tops it off with its sweet caramel and toffee

m-heavy mouthfeel makes this a slow sipper...it is oily and coats the mouth well and the carbonation is spot on in this one

d-the abv is hidden so well that this could make a dangerous drink...the flavors are great and not offensive at all making this one easy to put down

overall a solid offering from st arnold and im glad i got to try this...big thanks to ottovon for this box...i feel the best has yet to come

 855 characters

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

Very nice looking beer. Orange with red highlights in the center and an opaque brownish color around the edges.

Sweet, caramel and raisin in the nose with an alcohol presence, honey liqueur-like with smoke and subtle raspberry fruit.

Very hearty taste and mouthfeel lets you know it's a one and done. Toasted caramel and creme brulee, it's sweet without becoming cloying. The smoke comes out as it warms as well as becoming drier.

Though not my favorite style, I thought overall this was a very solid scotch ale.

 516 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.62/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Blue Point snifter.

A: Vigorous pour yields a 1.25 finger coarse, light cream colored head that evaporates into a thin layer quickly. Beer is a cloudy reddish-clay. Lacing is near non-existent.

S: Boozy, caramel, brown sugar, slight maple syrup. Nose is thin but robust at the same time. It's very filling if you can describe a smell like that.

T: Sweet maple syrup and caramel upfront. A clearly spicy transition into more booziness. Malt profile is very strong here. A slight bit of grapes or prunes or some sort of fresh ripe fruit is detectable. No hop flavor to be found.

M: Medium bodied, coarse and carbonated. Wet in the mouth and very watery at the finish. Aftertaste is messy and sweet, slightly sticky.

D: An enjoyable beer but for once, the malt profile is a bit strong for me even for the style. A syrupy aftertaste doesn't help either. Body is good though and fits the flavors that the beer is trying to express. I'd have this again but personally, I'd like something a little heavier on the booze and bit lighter on the malts.

 1,085 characters

Photo of JosephLondon
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have let this one age for several months.

The appearance of this beer is magnificent. pours a deep crimson orange. The head is a frothy off-white beige. This beer gives a lot of lace with beautiful cascading effects when tilted. The nose is behind the rest of this brew. I pulled nothing but malt and some type of barley smell. The taste is balanced between roasted marshmallow, biscuit, brown sugar, ripe fruit and honey. The beer is a little on the sweet side but suits this beer nicely. The feel is decent but slightly better than mediocre, nothing to really to note. I think this beer drinks very nicely. As it has warmed the beer has become so much better in every category-especially drinkability. I only have one left, so I will refrain for now.

Edit: As the beer warmed more, the last big swig I took was outstanding in mouthfeel. It was thick and creamy. It lined my palate and clinched its grip with a defiant objection to follow its course to its final destination. Really outstanding! Let this one warm considerably.

Feel changed from 3.5 to 4 to 4.5 as it warmed.

 1,082 characters

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

Many thanks to JosephLondon for the bottle.

This 8th installment of the Divine Reserve series is a copper color that leans red. It's much hazier than I would've expected. Light gives it a really nice scarlet tint. A vanilla colored head stands on top and rises to just over a finger. It dissipates to a surface covering quickly, but held firm there for a while. Lacing was stick and moderate.

The nose is good, but is a little lacking in strength. It's very sweet and malty smelling. Caramel and toffee scents are very strong throughout. Brown sugar is definitely noted. Yeast is fairly strong in the mix. It has a subtle, fruity scent. Plum is noted. But, there's some evidence of dark grapes, as well. Nevertheless, it's far from vinous. Alcohol is buried. I'm not getting anything at all there.

The flavor is a step below the nose in terms of quality. Not by much, but it's true. This is pretty good beer. But, it is very sweet. The centerpiece is obviously caramel malts. It has such a strong, sweet caramel/toffee flavor that it's not far from overbearing. Brown sugar is prevalent. Fruit flavors add some depth, but do little to counter the strong sweet flavor. Plum and dark grape flavors are flavorful and work well with the malts. Maybe it just needs a little less malt. I don't know. It's a little yeasty on the tail. Alcohol is blended very well. I would've never guessed it's over 9% abv. It finishes sweet. Surprise!

Divine Reserve #8 has a medium-full body that feels thicker with each passing sip. It's nice and smooth, but not quite creamy. Carbonation seems light and just about right. Drinkability is above average. This really isn't bad beer at all, but it's very sweet. I think one bottle will be plenty for me tonight. It's also rather strong at 9.3%.

Saint Arnold has a track record of releasing great beer in the Divine Reserve series. The 8th release is good, but doesn't quite stack up to some of the best in the series. Its biggest fault is that it's too sweet, at least for me. It's still pretty good beer, but would be better with a little less of a sugar blast. Since it probably won't be brewed again, my constructive commentary is probably useless. It's worth a try if you have the opportunity, but the Divine Reserve series has seen far better releases.

 2,290 characters

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

Thanks goes out to JJFoodie for this brew.

Pours a cloudy brown color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger fizzy tan head, with some nice sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, with some slight bourbon notes, caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, slightly bourbon, with some caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, not a bad brew, but a slight twist on the style.

 358 characters

Photo of rudylaw
3.38/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received as an extra from pswoldier! Poured into my Shoreline pint glass on this chilly day.

Pours a brownish/orangey color with a fluffy head. That turns into a small rim.

Smells like Brach's caramel, toasted bread and a dash of vanilla.

Tastes the same but not as good as I hoped. I get a dash of sponge during the finish. There is some stickiness to this, and it has nice carbonation, but this misses the mark compared to some of the other wee heavies out there. Still, St. Arnold's is a brewery worth investigating and I look forward to trying more from them.

 567 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This Wee Heavy sets a sturdy tone with big malt sweetness and pungent smoke character. Malts are huge with caramels, toffees, and a savory kettle caramelization affect. Brown sugars and molassas also decorate the peripheries of the malts. Rising quickly are the peaty, smokey, phenolic character that provides more than enough earthiness, and maybe too much smoke at times. Though dwarfed by the malt sweetness and smokey notes, the fruity esters take a back seat with plumbs, grapes, and other stone fruits. The mouthfeel brings a sugary sweetness that buffers the alcohols nicely, but in the end are ultimately too sweet and not bready-starchy enough. The malts are rounded but classic Scottish ales have a much more complex maltiness than this. Also the smoke character is almost obviously derived from smoked malt and not from the phenolic yeastiness. Even with these inconsistencies, this beer does some wonderful things and is a pleasure to drink.

Thanks Exiled!!

 970 characters

Photo of augustgarage
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Obtained in trade from JosephLondon (thanks!). Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Gordon Highland thistle. Bottle is only 3 or 4 months old.

Translucent carnelian body with a creamy finger of beige/buff foam receding by half to a dense persistent cap. Sandy blankets of lacing are cut through by thin teardrops.

Malty aromatics with walnuts or maybe brazil nuts, and a faint whisp of smoke. The caramelization is similar to diacetyl with brown butter and English cream notes.

Weak tea with honey, old books, fresh cream, and barley on the palate. Low hops but also surprisingly low esters (just a hint of bergamot). Mild dry finish with lingering nutty malt.

Flacid, milky, medium-full bodied mouthfeel. Alcohol is almost invisible.

The flavor profile is a little delicate if not shallow, but none the less, hews close to style. Cellaring might improve this a bit...

 870 characters

Photo of superdedooperboy
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

One of the many extras given to me in a trade with JFFoodie. Many thanks!

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a tulip. Served at cellar temperature, 45 degrees F.

Pours a deep burnished copper hue with noticeable haze; the thick, rich beige head falls away a little more quickly than anticipated and leaves behind just some light splotchy lace on the walls of the glass.

Aroma is ripe with boozy alcohol and peaty malt. Some light toffee lingers in the background but is nearly undetectable.

Full-bodied, with just a light amount of carbonation. Up front sweet caramel and toasted malt notes make themselves present, followed in the middle by loads of peaty smokiness and mildly bitter, herbaceous hop notes along with just a hint of sourness toward the back, with the alcoholic warmth coming in strong all the way through the warming, dry, smoky and semi-sweet finish.

Despite the strong flavors here, drinkability doesn't suffer immensely; certainly this is no session ale, and the alcohol is quite evident, but drinking one glass is no real effort in itself, as each complex and smoky sip seems to reach out for another. Leave it at one glass, though. This Wee Heavy is definitely wee heavy.

 1,202 characters

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. No dating but limited release that I got on release date on 9/11/09 so just over 3 months of aging. I tried a couple right around the release date and it needed some aging. Got some more cellared so may re-review later. Was a mostly clear amber brown color with plenty of carb streams. It had an average size beige head that quickly settled into a thick collar and some wisps. No lacing.

The aroma was a bit weak and took constant swirling to get it to rise up. Caramel and toffee malt aromas with a slight hint of smoke and some alcohol. I much preferred the aroma on DR4 - the other scotch/wee in the series. This one is really missing the smoke and peat that made #4 so great. Without the comparisons, it's still a bit weak. Aromas not bad but too subtle. The taste follows the aroma. By itself, it's OK but lacking a real standout characteristic. Starts out with the caramel/toffee and then the sweet kicks in and finishes with an alcohol after-taste. Curious to see how this develops as it ages. Compared to the DR4, it's way off and a bit of a mess. The mouthfeel was medium with really good carb levels. The finishing texture is a bit creamy but the alcohol taste distracts.

Overall, it's a good but not great outing. In the bottom third of the Divine Reserves for me. At 3 months, it's still lacking in aroma and flavor. Got several that I'm cellaring so will update over the years. Rotation - one-time release. Have several so wouldn't seek any more.

 1,506 characters

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this brew from whoneeds8 for winning SNF Squares Week 13. Thanks Maston!

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

Murky red/amber color with a beige head that thinned out after a few minutes.
Aroma is sweet caramel malt.
Taste is very good, sweet and malty with some roasted malt flavor midway through until the lip smaking sweet finish.
Full bodied with a creamy feel.
It's drinkable but at over 9% abv, watch out.

 427 characters

Photo of PretzelCity
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to TexasStout for sending this along as an extra.
A- A cloudy, golden mahogany with a one finger head
S- Sweet, lightly roasted malt, some smoked peat, hint of chocolate and booze
T- Light smokey flavor that blends well with the sweet malt, not overpowering.
M- Medium body, a little syrupy, barleywine-esque , slight heat in the finish.
D-Rich, complex and very drinkable. Excellent beer.

 398 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another new one in the line, glad I can say I have actually had all of these, now we get to number 8 and one of my favorite styles. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 12/09/2009.
The pour was near perfect with a deep, dark brown that had loads of ruby highlights on the bottom of the glass. Nice two inch head of tan that capped it off nearly perfectly, leaving behind tons of lacing all over the sides of the glass. Rich aroma, earthy malts, touches of grain and floral notes. Warming brings out caramel, lots of sweet notes. Really nicely done here, as I take the first sip I remark as to how thick the feel is on this one, very full and rich, really let the flavor sit on the tongue. Hints of heather overlap a rich malty sweetness. Light touch of hops at the end, but quickly erased by another bout of rich sweet caramel flavor as well as a nice touch of bready flavor. Smooth, even finish and well hidden ABV profile made this one go down much easier then I would have thought.
Overall this was very solid. Great representation of the style and really just finely crafted ale all around. One of the better versions of the style and would be glad to have this one again any day.

 1,227 characters

Photo of SirSketch
4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazy reddish brown color with a thin ring of off-white head with consistent lacing.

S - Bold and complex malt aroma. Moderately smokey. Alcohol comes through just slightly. Definitely a malt bomb.

T - More smokiness. Very sweet malt taste with only a minimal amount of hop character that disappears quickly. Some caramel as well and perhaps some toasted oats (think hot oatmeal). I really love the smoke character. Warming on the way down, but not overtly alcoholic.

M - Medium to full body with a sticky mouth. Very slightly more carbonated than should be. All around a great beer.

 589 characters

Photo of Spineypanda
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer by far beats the divine #9!

Pours a cloudy brown, and the carbonation lasts only a few seconds and leaves a nice little head that dissipates quickly.
Smells of sweets and some lightly toasted malts and barley.
Tastes like any scotch ale I have had but 10 times that, strong spicy and malty flavor, with a bit of that sweetness on the back of the tongue.
Has a bit of carbonation but not a whole lot, which is good in this style of beer.

MUCH better than #9. Wish I had a whole six pack!

 499 characters

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.4/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Mhewes for this extra. Had it on 11/19, from notes.

Pours between brown and dark ruby into my tulip. Orangey and red around the edges, a nice color. Spotty lacing after a good sized light tan head.

Smells of lightly toasted malts, werther's caramel candies. Hearty biscuits fresh out of the oven. Light campfire smoke and some alcohol as it warmed. Rich toffee and marzipan. A dash of vanilla extract.

Tastes of rich caramel, moderate complexity - overall considerably sweet. Alcohol is apparent as well as rich malts described in the aroma. Good, bordering creamy mouthfeel which is nice and expected for style. Very rich and gets to be a bit cloying after a while. One and done, but a nice effort overall.

 723 characters

Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #8 from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
3.9 out of 5 based on 138 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!