Blog of an aspiring foodie

Tasting notes – Saint Arnold DR#3

Posted by beer_chris on 9-August-2009

Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #3 – Double IPA. Bottled 2006.

Appearance: Pours quite thin. No head, very little effervescence. Color a light copper, in the low 20s. Avoided settled yeast on the pour – there was a good bit of it for a beer that was not bottle conditioned.

Aroma: dominated by a malty sweetness. Just a hint of alcohol. Hops not really noticeable in the head at first, beer still pretty cold.

Flavor: Hop bitterness amazingly strong, overwhelms almost all other flavors. Use of some of the higher alpha varieties (Chinook? Simcoe?) seems likely, as the bitterness turns into a dryness on the back of the palate. Not much hop flavor – spiciness there somewhere, but doesn’t have that all-around hop flavor that I like so much about strong IPAs. Malt profile actually really nice – and quite noticeable once the bitterness subsides a little. A nice balance of crystal and caravienne. Getting all of that lovely roasty/toasty flavors, and just a hint of caramel sweetness at the very very end of each sip. It’s the malty finish that makes me want to go back for more. No noticeable fruity esters, no yeast or bread flavors.

Mouthfeel: Thin. Carbonation very low, pretty close to out of style. No warming alcohol notes, even at 9.5%. This was brewed extraordinarily carefully to prevent fusels from developing.

Overall Impression: It has aged too long. What I’ve learned drinking this beer is that big IPAs have a more delicate balance of the big flavors than I had previously thought. Time has not been kind to that balance. have so darn much going on that it doesn’t take a lot of entropy to put that out of whack. The good points of this beer are simply shadows of what used to be great. I need to drink this as quickly as I can.

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One Response to “Tasting notes – Saint Arnold DR#3”

  1. Jamoosh said

    Excellent review. Brock and I tasted this in February of this year and he mentioned how frustrated he was that the nose didn’t match the big hop taste. The Divine #5 is my favorite. The paricular post is here: http://dasmixture.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/02/big-brew.html – I tend not to review to your level because most of my readers are runners and not beer afficianados. I’ll have to put your blog on my RSS Feeds.

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