Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #9 | Saint Arnold Brewing Company

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Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #9Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #9

Brewed by:
Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Note from the brewery "Important: let this beer warm to at least 50° before enjoying".

Added by armock on 12-01-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 192 |  Reviews: 118
Photo of hoplover82
1.87/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This is the worst Imp Stout I've ever had. I am so dissapointed in Saint Arnold about this. :(

The appearance is the worst. Almost no carbonation. No head or lacing. Black.

The smell is just of hot alcohol dark fruits and too many spices.

The taste is the same with even more spices. Terrible indeed!

For the price of this beer, I couldn't bring myself to pour this beer out, but if it costed a lot less than I paid for it, it would be poured out for sure.

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Photo of drummermattie02
2/5  rDev -49.1%

Photo of northaustin
2/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

pours a dark brown with two fingers of rich, even brown head.

smells like pumpkin spice.

tastes like pumpkin spice.

this is another over-spiced pumpkin disaster. not natural pumpkin, garden ridge pumpkin candle type pumpkin. avoid this one unless youre into that sort of thing. the beer does look alright though.

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Photo of mothman
2.22/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured into duck rabbit snifter

Pours a vibrant copper color. Small layer of fizzy tan head. Beer settles near black.

Aroma: Bright pumpkin flavor. Cinnamon and other spices. Nutmeg. Some chocolate and roasted malts. Not very stout like.

Taste: Well, it is pretty big. Lots of pumpkin, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon spices. Much more roasted here with chocolate and caramel malts. Alcohol shows as well.

Mouthfeel: Spiced, dry, and hot. Full bodied with a lot of carbonation. Fizzy. Ends with booze showing and roasted malts.

Overall, this is crazy hard to drink. I dread taking sips of it. Why would anybody want to make a beer like this? Way to much pumpkin and spice. It is one of the hardest beers to drink that I have encountered.

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Photo of spaceycasey
2.43/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served at a bottle purchased from Central Market.

A - Appearance is everything I hoped for - black deep enough to lose your sight in. Small, off-wide head that quickly fades. Unfortunately, the appearance of this beer was the best thing going for it.

S - CLOVE! TONS AND TONS AND TONS OF CLOVE. SO MUCH CLOVE I CAN BARELY BREATHE! Did I mention clove? Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Allspice - like a bunch of pumpkin pie spices were dumped into a beer without any pumpkin. Moderate alcohol aroma prsent as well, that didn't send up any red flags, but should have...

T - Much of the same from the aroma, overpowering pumpkin pie spice plus the added note of booze. Very unbalanced.

M - Creamy and rich, about what it should be.

D - had a hard time finishing this one.

Another in a long line of disappointing DR series beers. The last good one I remember was #5. At the prices St. Arnold wants to charge, they've done a good job at building hype - but I'm almost ready to give up on this series and only try on draught before dropping almost $20 for a six pack of bottles. This was a quite unplesant beer, I'm afraid.

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Photo of canders0927
2.5/5  rDev -36.4%

Photo of AgentZero
2.52/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Provided by MasterSki, who finds it funny to unload bad beers on me.

A - Pours a black with reddish orange on the edges. Not much head to speak of, left the sides of the glass clean.

S - First thing I thought of was Midnight Sun TREAT when smelling this. Big pumpkin and nutmeg notes, very pumpkin pie-ish with a little bit of alcohol. Not exactly my thing, but fits the style.

T - Wow, this is pretty hideous. There is pumpkin and spice there, with some glove and a horribly starchy finish. Alcohol is actually pretty well hidden, unfortunately it is hidden by horrible taste. Has one of the worst finishes I've had in a while. Gross.

M - Overly fizzy, it is the first thing you notice. Otherwise pretty standard, full bodied, but too much carbonation.

D - Can't get by the horrible taste, particularly the finish on this. Pass.

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Photo of MasterSki
2.55/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to BgThang for this extra. Served in a Bruery tulip.

A - Quick-dissolving half-finger of tan foam that settles to a thin ring and some wispy haze. Black body that is brown at the fringes.

S - Pumpkin spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, pie crust, and some peripheral pumpkin flavor. Not much obvious stout underneath all those adjuncts. Still, as a pumpkin beer it's solid.

T - Taste is not as good, and the finish is amongst the worst I've ever encountered. There's a strange vanilla extra note that mingles with starchy squash.

M - Fizzy carbonation, medium-full body. The 11% is shockingly well hidden - I would have guessed 8%. I'll split the difference between the bad texture and amazingly disguised alcohol.

D - I suppose this is a step up from most malt liquors. You could get really drunk on this, if you can get past the awful aftertaste. I'd rather have a Pumking though.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
2.67/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Mikesgroove took this off of my wants list and threw it into one of our recent trades. Thanks Mike.

I poured this one into a small snifter. The body is a deep mahogany with ruby highlights. The brown head rises up slowly, but remains very small. There is almost no retention, as the head disappears immediately. No lacing either.

The smell for this one isn't bad despite a boozy strength. A little bit of anise, some dark fruit, burnt sugar, coffee and a good bit of sweetness. I swear I smell some combination of nutmeg and cinnamon also, but I'm just not sure about those.

Holy cow this one is hot. As soon as I sip it my face is on fire. Booze coming out of my nose and going down my throat. Not a pleasant way to start. When I finally get over the burning, I taste a lot of what can only be described as spices. I have no idea if there were any spice additives in this beer, but it sure as hell tastes like it. A little bit of anise, and a mix of cinnamon and nutmeg. I thought I smelled these spices, but I am sure that I taste them, or at least something that tastes like them. A little bit of toffe is in the background, but no rich coffee or chocolate. Maybe a hint of dark bread.

Fairly light body, but smooth from the carbonation. Well, smooth in a pilsner way, not so much what I would expect from a big stout. It still feels like I just finished taking a shot though.

Not a fan of this one, I should have left it in the cellar for a couple more years. The booze and the spices makes this one taste like it was aged in a spiced-rum barrel. Way too hot, and I'm not a fan of the spice flavors.

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Photo of mendvicdog
3/5  rDev -23.7%

Photo of Ryan011235
3.09/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter on 1/26/12

Courtesy of mhewes

Medium brown on the pour, settling a few shades darker. I decided to give it the old swirl and in went some muddy sediment which pretty much darkened the beer even more. The head was shy of one finger; it didn't last long and only a skim remained. No lace.

Aromas of licorice, pumpkin pie spices, burnt molasses, rum-soaked prunes, oatmeal raisin cookies and some oxidation. A persistent floral note couples with the spices creating the suggestion of holiday-time scented candles. It doesn't smell too boozy. As it warms it starts to exhibit more of the sugary. Subtle hints of tobacco juice.

Sipping-wise, oxidation is known immediately, lingers for a spell and hoists itself back up for the finish. At least the other flavors mask most of it (except the finish). Burnt sugars abound - molasses, licorice, prune and a hint of scorched chocolate. It leans a sweeter than I prefer but, though a bit messy in general, it's not over the top. There are some residual spices on the back end, but the pumpkin pie aspect of the aroma is subtle at most.

Medium-full body with a reasonable amount of viscosity. Whereas the alcohol was soft in the aroma, it's bold on the palate, boasting a tingling sensation that is inclined to last long after any other flavor residuals have passed.

I found some interesting things going on here. I appreciate that the "spices and such" are present in the complexity of the nose while being downplayed to taste; it makes for a greater depth of a drinking experience. In any case, as far as sweet imperial stouts go, I'd say it falls somewhere between Kate the Great and Dark Lord in terms of "pulling it off."

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.18/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared by someone at the Splinter Black release. Poured into my Savor snifter.

Pours near black with a thin tan head and not too much of any lacing. The nose is pretty heavy on the spicing with a good amount of cinnamon and allspice coming through as well as some star abuse. Light chocolate and roast are there as well.

The flavor is quite heavy on the spicing and a bit overpowering in that manner. Pinch of licorice along with roast and mild chocolate coming through. Mouthfeel is a bit zippy with extra carbonation, perhaps just enhanced via the spices. Drinks decent enough. I like the concept but the spices were overdone and not balanced with one another.

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Photo of caresville
3.19/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

received this beer from twiggamortis420 in a black booty BIF, really excited to try this one!!

a- black as night, poured a beautiful thick tan head that subsided rather quick, no carbonation and some lacing.

s- very candied sugar, peppermints, cinnamon, and some chocolate. rather strange for a stout... or any beer in general.

t&m- bitter with a toned down menthol taste. caramel, brown sugar, chocolate and licorice. very strange taste to say the least but not bad by a long shot.

d- over the top weird for me. this beer was all over the place from sip to sip. one sip i loved it and the next i wanted to throw it out the window. theres nowhere to place this brew but the middle of the road.

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Photo of PretzelCity
3.21/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Many thanks to TexasStout for this one. It poured an inky black out of the bottle with a thin brown head that fizzled out quickly until it disappeared leaving no lace. Would have liked a head on this one but a good looking beer none the less. The smell wasn't what I was expecting, lots of clove, with ginger, allspice and what seems like spruce or pine. It reminds me a little of a cloved up Anchor Our Special Ale. The taste was more spice. Not a lot of pumpkin. Some hints of chocolate but mostly clove and other spices. Medium body, the carbonation is low but comes through in the finish with a slight alcohol burn. Still pretty drinkable considering the 11%ABV. Overall I would say I was disappointed, I had big expectations for this beer. It didn't distinguish itself as a stout and in the end the beer was lost among an overpowering amount of clove.

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Photo of natelocc787
3.21/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Really looking forward to this and it was a major letdown. Head fizzled quickly but smelled great. Smell even though thin and too boozy was big time freshly baked gingerbread, pumpkin spice and nutmeg. The taste is where this beer lost me. Very small amount of bitter chocolate, bitter pumpkin rind, too much nutmeg, cinnamon and clove, but as a plus it offers mild notes of pumpkin pie on gingerbread crust with whipped cream. Tastes like it could use at least a few months, might be fantastic after a year. Mouthfeel I had to really try and see through the horrible taste, but like a true pro I managed and it isn't lacking, may be bumped to a 4.5 even after a few months in the cellar. This one is a young, hot, boozy mess. I'm not scared of alcohol but the alcohol in this example accentuated by the overdone spice character makes this less impressive.

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Photo of JAramini
3.23/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The brewery's suggestion of letting it warm to 50 degrees is a good one. Fresh out of the fridge the beer was kind of a mess.

It's pitch black with an 1/8" head that fades quickly. The nose was overpoweringly pumpkin and spices when cold, same goes for the taste.

Too cold and all you can taste is poorly-integrated spices.

Thankfully, as it warms it mellows out considerably. The flavors integrate and it smooths out. It tastes like a blend of a strong pumpkin beer (such as Pumking) with an imperial stout.

It hides its alcohol well. Even so, it's tough to get through 12 oz of this one.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.27/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Big thanks to Mora2000 for this brew. I enjoyed it quite a bit, even if my score doesn't really suggest that.

A - Stout, with a tan head, appears a bit thin.

S - I smell light roasty tones, big pumpkin pie aroma, vague smoke, chocolate and cinnamon-nutmeg. Though it is somewhat overpowering, It is still a very intriguing and well-formed aromatic bouquet.

T - Big pumpkin, good heat and some charred wood, kind of a pumpkin-latte flavor, especially towards the finish. Pumpkin lingers perhaps too long and strong. At first, the pumpkin spice was at a sickening level, but then either I adjusted or it mellowed out.

M - Thin, but well-carbonated.

D - Very interesting, but hard to even drink a 12oz. bottle of. I can't believe I'm saying that! But seriously, this is no TREAT. It does benefit significantly from airing out and warming up, making it markedly more drinkable.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.27/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle, I gather from 2009.

Pours dark brown with crimson edging and a thin, partial head of tan. A few whisps of foam and better lacing throughout the glass.

Aromatics lead off with a blast of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and spiced rum. Somewhere between a glazed ham studded with cloves or a pumpkin pie, maybe both. Hints of chocolate and smoke follow through.

Medium bodied with a soft, creamy mouthfeel.

Brown sugar and an onslaught of pungent spice starts the palate. Heavy on the nutmeg, with cinnamon, cloves, cardamon, anise, and menthol.
Chocolate, dark caramel, and sweet malt follow through.

Finishes with ever-lingering holiday spice, loads of residuals and mild booze.

Whoa...Way too spicy and sweet for me. Not to mention this is supposed to be an Imperial Stout? Lacking much stout character. More akin to an spiced up Old Ale or perhaps approaching Porter territory.
Interesting, but finishing this one will be a bit of a chore.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.28/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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

a - A dark brown, letting no light in. It poured about an inch of a lighter brown head with little retention and carbonation.

s - Smells strongly of spices, the major ones that stick out being cinnamon and pumpkin. Also smells of gingerbread, and maybe some mint/pine?

t - Taste is similiar to smell; lots of spices. Lots of pumpkin, gingerbread, and cinnamon. Also get tastes of alcohol.

m - Full bodied, little carbonation, a little bitterness due to the heavy spice.

d - I thought this was an ok stout, but nothing amazing. Personally I felt that you could tell it was 11% ABV, and I did not care for the spices taste as much as I have in other beers. A largely pumpking taste, yet I would rather have something like ST's Pumking or DFH's pumpkin. Not bad, but not something I would seek out again. Since I have one 12 oz. bottle left, I think I may sit on it for a year and see if the spices mellow out.

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Photo of SPThirtyThree
3.31/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Pours a half-finger head of mahogany that disappears to a thin ring around the glass and a single cluster of big bubbles in the middle. This black beer doesn't let a ray of light through.

S: The nose is of pumpkin mix and spice. Slightly phenolic, like band-aids. The smell is hot and estery, like boiling pineapple juice, but this brew does conjure images of fresh pumpkin pie at Grandma's house.

T: The flavor begins with delightful pumpkins, and is completely delicous for the first half-second. Then, suddenly and overpoweringly, comes the hotness from the alcohol. Copious amounts of fusels make drinking DR9 like having a mouthful of searing, ester-filled lava. It's like Vesuvius just erupted again. Mixed in are hot raisins, pumpkin, and nutmeg, with a bitter, unsweetened chocolate finish; the bitterness combined with the phenols is almost reminiscent of vinegar

M: Thick and chewy. Very astringent - seems to coat the rear middle of the tongue.

D: Medium-low. Very tasty, but the bitterness of the hops will cloud my palate, the 11% alcohol is going to blur my vision, and the fusels are going to give me a nasty headache in the morning.

Overall, very bitter and dark. Great for a cold day. Interesting, to say the least, but the flavor is too hot to really be enjoyable.

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Photo of tattooedtolley
3.37/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Jet black, very little head and I poured vigorously. This is probably the strangest smelling impy stout I've ever had. I get cinnamon, coffee, roasted malt, maybe some potpourri, gingerbread, nutmeg, who the hell knows what. Its spice all up in the nose with roasted malt. I got to be honest, that scares me as I like 2 "spices" in my beer, malt and hops. Diving in, I get a big punch of lightly carbed impy stout roasted malt, then a light finish of these gingerbread holiday spices. As it warms, its evolving into a much better beer, I'm going to let the next one sit out a while longer.

11% abv. Not sessionable, but I'm having another, its really growing on me. Its certainly not something I want everyday but I have 3 feet of snow on the ground outside and if my xmas tree was still up this would be so welcomed. Again, I can't stand spiced beers but this one is pretty damn good. A spiced Impy Stout, I can dig it. Very warming, like a bourbon warming. Not hot on the taste but a little alcohol heat on the finish. I think thats fine for a big holiday sort of stout.

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Photo of Spineypanda
3.41/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Has an almost black color, extremely dark. Little head and no retention.
Smells of a good imperial stout with pumpkin pie spices.
Tastes very strong. Has the backbone of a Russian Imperial Stout, with a bit too much pumpkin pie spice, but not a horrible taste. What gets me is how the spice flavor makes the alcohol taste even more prominent.
A bit rough.
Not as good as their BJ's pumpkin pie brew, but worth trying if you can get it at an affordable price.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter. One time release on Dec 1. It was black in color. It had an average sized tan head that dissipated into a medium collar. Slight visible carb on the surface. Quick sliding, non-sticky lace.

The aroma was a clove bomb with other traditional pumpkin spices, some chocolate and some alcohol in the back. I like clove but this is a bit much. Not a repeated sniffer for sure. The taste follows the aroma. Massive cloves with slight pumpkin taste. The alcohol shows up more here - not bad but is a presence. Just too much clove now - hope it settle down in aging. Mouthfeel is medium with good carb but a way to clove aftertaste.

Overall, this one, as-is, is a bit of a mess. The clove is way too dominant in aroma and taste. Can't really taste much else at this point. Got 2 more to cellar so hoping it calms down over time. The last 2 DR's have been a big disappointment so hoping #10 gets it back on track. At these prices and the major stress involved in finding them, the bang for the buck has dropped off considerably. Recommend if you can easily get (don't trade a bunch for this one) and/or you are trying to have all the DR's. Rotation: one time release. Got a couple in cellar so won't be seeking anymore. Bring back DR5!!!!

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Photo of Pellinore1
3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mora2000 for sending this bottle.

Pours deep brown, and a vigorous pour produces a finger of tan head. This fades fairly quickly, leaving little lacing.

Very interesting and pleasant aroma to this one, although not at all what I expect in an imperial stout. It reminds me of a spice or pumpkin bread, with sweet cinnamon, cardamom, and molasses coming through in a big way.

What works for me in the smell doesn't come together as well in the flavor. Again, sweet spices, molasses, ginger, some fruit. Very little traditional stout character.

Medium-bodied and smooth, the mouthfeel is fine.

Alcohol is quite well hidden, but the flavor profile detracts from the drinkability. I just don't want to be drinking a lot of this.

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Photo of Damian
3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Drank from a 12 fl oz. bottle
Served in a snifter
Thanks to xpimptastikx for including this as an extra in our trade.

The liquid poured a thick brown/black color and was topped by a tight, creamy, cocoa colored head of foam. Large droplets of lacing trickled down the glass.

Spices and roasty notes came through strong in the nose. Pumpkin pie spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice were most apparent. Quite sweet. Caramel malts and brown sugar notes were also noticeable. Cold coffee appeared as well.

Roasted malts and dark chocolate appeared first in the flavor profile but were soon trounced by the potent spice notes. As in the nose, spices typically found in both pumpkin ales and winter warmers (ginger, clove, allspice, etc.) came through strong. Licorice notes appeared as well. The finish was dry and super roasty with some alcohol warmth. Slight metallic notes were also detectible.

The mouthfeel was medium-full bodied with a light, spritzy effervescence. Overall, a touch thinner than I was expecting for an 11% ABV double stout.

This was truly a unique pumpkin ale/winter warmer/double stout hybrid. While interesting, the intense spice notes were a bit overwhelming.

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Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #9 from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 192 ratings.
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