Monday, August 8, 2011

ST. ARNOLD "DIVINE RESERVE 11"

This Texas beer is cloaked in mystery. Nowhere on the bottle can one see what style of beer it might be - I only knew it was going to be a whopper because I'd read about it on "the internet", because it's from a brewer (ST. ARNOLD) whose beers I've enjoyed supremely in the past, and because it arrived at my house vis-a-vis a complex, excruciatingly-negotiated beer trade that involved four different individuals. Kudos and thanks to Kyle, John and Greg for getting this one into my hands. Oooh - the suspense must just be killing you. What is it? ST. ARNOLD DIVINE RESERVE #11 is a double IPA - and then some.

It's a brewed-only-once, 12-ounce, super-limited thing. ST. ARNOLD has this "Divine Reserve" series that they save for experimentation and beer dork fulfillment, and the styles change up with each new one. #11 just hits you - wham - with big hops and ripe fruit right off the bat. The head dissipated quickly, leading me to believe that a high-alcohol monster might be lurking. Sure enough, it's nearly 9%, but it's in a small bottle, so you won't have to go to bed at 8pm tonight. Bready, somewhat creamy malts, apparent in the early swallow, take a back seat to very bitter hops a few seconds later. One gets the feeling in a hurry that this is a mighty strong ale. I was pretty goshdarned impressed with it, and recommend you send Aubrey Huff, Barry Zito and a player to be named later across to Texas for it if you ever get the chance to do so. 8/10.

4 comments:

sean said...

First of all, you start new blogs more often than I brush my teeth, and I do not have any cavities, so yeah, that is a lot.

Second, word on the Texas Craft Beer Street is that DR #11 is going to be come a Saint Arnold Regular. Whether that means year round or just an annual brew, I do not know. I agree that it is good stuff, although I would have guessed that Barry Zito would get you back a bottle of Lone Star, and a skunked one at that.

Jay H. said...

Sean - that's great news; I'll travel with a spring in my step next time I'm in Texas knowing I might be able to find this on draft somewhere.

I'll take that skunked bottle of Lone Star and a player to be named later from the Rice University lacrosse team, and Zito's all yours.

Anonymous said...

Jay... this is Greg, one-third of your beer-mule for this beer... glad you liked it! I just told John and Kyle that I feel I got the better end of the deal with those nice RR's you sent back; so feel free to hit me up if you need anything else from Texas (I feel I owe you more!). Believe it or not, but some mighty fine beers are being brewed in the deep south... :)

Jay H. said...

Greg, can't thank you enough for that package - thanks a lot. Planning on having the Real Ale Devil's Backbone this evening. Jester King is a Texas brewer I'm interested in - feel free to send me an email if you can come across those....thanks!