Thursday, June 12, 2008

Saint Arnold's Divine Reserve 6

Well its been a LONG time coming, but the time has arrived. Saint Arnold's released their 6th Divine Reserve today and it just so happened that my local Spec's had some. I was able to quickly run by and grab a couple of six packs right after work (the beer guy there already reported they had gone through 6 cases in 90 minutes). This one is going to go FAST. As for the beer itself? I'll let Saint Arnold's founder Brock Wagner describe it:
This is a big, malty, hoppy barleywine. Yet all of the intense flavors meld together to create a well-balanced big beer. The nose has a strong resiny hop note. The taste starts with a combination of the malty sweetness and spicy hops with both flavors magnified by the high alcohol level. The spiciness carries through the middle and finishes with a satisfyingly dry bitter. It was brewed with 2 row pale, Caramunich and Special B malts with brown sugar added in the kettle and hopped with 225 lbs of Columbus hops including 44 lbs that were dry hopped. We used our Saint Arnold yeast strain which gives a rich, creamy mouthfeel to the brew. It is unfiltered and will clarify with aging.
225 lbs of hops? In this day and age of hop shortage? That's crazy talk. Well needless to say I couldn't wait very long to taste this one, so as soon as I got home today I had to try it.
The Beer: Poured the beer into a nice snifter glass, it weighs in at 10% and pours a cloudy brown amber with a nice taupe colored head. The nose is all hops here, full of citrus and piney notes with just a hint of caramel. The mouth unsurprisingly is more of the same; HOPPY, major grapefruit notes along with strong piney resin notes. However as hoppy as this bomb of a beer is its well balanced with a nice caramel malty sweetness, and vanilla notes. This one is extremely complex, but unexpectedly smooth and balanced. While a big powerful beer there is not a noticeable alcohol flavor. With the beer being unfiltered I think it gives it an almost chewy quality, which creates a nice textural experience. This ones a keeper, and while not as good as the amazing DR5, this one is damn good. It gets an A- from me. It seems like the folks over at BA agree.

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