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Day #90 – Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #11

April 1, 2011

Day 90. I’m only 10 days from day 100 which is hard to believe already. I still feel like I’m just getting started on this blog and there are SO many beers that I am wanting to review!

So many reasons to feel good about today. It’s Friday, Rangers opening day, weather is nice outside…so I’m going to treat myself to yet another great beer.

Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #11

The Divine Reserve series from Saint Arnold began in 2005 and has turned into one of the most anticipated and sought after limited release series’ in Texas. Each batch is only made one time and then never again (under the DR name anyway) and are always very limited in size. It really gained popularity by the 5th installment and that hype has never relaxed. These beers are always a special recipe, often times the winning recipe in a homebrew contest. The release of these beers is anticipated by beer geeks all over the state, so much so that the stores that receive shipments in are sold out within a short period of time. With each release, Saint Arnold maintains that they increase production, but they have a delicate balance to walk. Release too little and few people try it; release too much and it loses it’s limited luster. When I first got into beer, they were already on release number 7. I had figured that I would never see any of the earlier beers, ESPECIALLY number 1. Through the generosity of some good friends, I have been fortunate enough to have tried all 10 of these beers now, and will be trying number 11 today.

Divine Reserve #11 is classified as an Imperial IPA, and weighs in at 8.9% ABV. According to Saint Arnold this is the first Divine Reserve that they have filtered. All the beers before now have gone unfiltered to keep all the juicy goodness in the bottles. This beer was filtered due to concerns about bottling with lots of hop particles still present. I will be trying this in both a bottle and on tap.

Typically beers of this style need to be enjoyed as fresh as possible, otherwise many of the hop elements begin to fade.  However, Saint Arnold is commenting that they expect this beer to develop interestingly over time.  I recommend to try it fresh if possible.

I’m in downtown Fort Worth tonight at the Flying Saucer. If you aren’t from around here, the FS first opened up in Fort Worth in an aging textbook warehouse. It’s a historical building, and it gives it a fantastic vibe. They tapped a special cask of the DR11 tonight an I am proud to let it settle in front of me.

Even for it being filtered, it still maintains a fair bit of haziness. It pours a bright reddish/orange color with a foamy beige head. Looks quite elegant.

20110401-083604.jpgThe aroma is RIDICULOUSLY hoppy. I mean, one sniff and I feel like I’m walking through a Christmas tree lot while bathing in sap and sweet grapefruit juice. Holy crap! Loads of sweet aromas pack this beer. Very fresh smelling indeed.

Smooth mouthfeel with a load of hops in the flavor as well. Lots of pine needles, tree sap, candied sugar, bitter touches that fades into a very wet, hoppy, bitter finish. Wow one for the hopheads for sure. The cask gives it a smoother mouthfeel than in the bottle, and also allows for a more even balance of flavors.

This is fantastic and certainly well worth the trouble to come about it.

Cheers!

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One comment

  1. Now that sounds like my type of beer.

    Nice job with your Rangers too…beat them Bosox!



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