St. Arnold Divine Reserve #9 – Imperial Pumpkin Stout

I’ve had a number of pumpkin ales in my time but never a pumpkin stout, let alone an imperial pumpkin stout. When I received this from USA Beer Trends I looked it up right away, to find out exactly what “Divine Reserve #9” was; as soon as I read its style, I couldn’t wait to try it.

St. Arnold Divine Reserve 9

This particular Divine Reserve has an ABV of 11%, so after tasting the Oskar Blues Ten Fidy just an hour before, I was expecting some heavy alcohol in the nose and palate. This however, was not the case. It poured a deep black with hints of crimson and a thick, caramel colored head. And its aroma? Damn. It smells straight up like fresh baked pumpkin pie. I’m floored that the high alcohol content isn’t overtaking this. Floored. Nutmeg, cinnamon and sweet pumpkin, through and through.

Not gonna lie, though… typically I don’t dig on super spiced beers. The only pumpkin ales I’ve loved, for example, are the ones that have hints of spice and pumpkin. Divine Reserve 9’s aroma had me a tad worried, since it was so very much like pie, but I went into my first sip with an open mind and heart.

St. Arnold Divine Reserve 9

The taste. I could not help but savor this imperial stout. It tastes of pumpkin pie; all pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread… with just a hint of alcohol in the finish, accompanied by a bit of caraway and dark chocolate. How St. Arnold achieved such a complex, sweet brew with an ABV of 11% is beyond me. Its medium-heavy body was exquisite and a perfect match to the taste and aroma. Honestly, I’ve never had a better pumpkin beer and cannot thank Larry enough for sending it in my care package.

Cheers to St. Arnold; Divine Reserve #9 is a well brewed, high octane pumpkin stout, no doubts about it.


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