Thursday, October 2, 2008

St. Arnold Divine Reserve 7

Funny story.

So St. Arnold has their divine reserve #7 coming out in late September. I was supposed to be offshore, and I forgot about it as my wife is probably too busy to be at the liquor store at 10AM on a workday. They delayed the release to September 30 when Hurricane Ike made its way to Houston, when I would be back on dry land.

September 30 comes and goes and I totally forget about it, as I had to take the baby to the doctor and a couple other errands. It was her wellbaby visit with all the vaccines, so I was hoping we could make it out without too much crying. She was crying when the nurse was listening to her heartbeat. Poor girl.

October 1st comes and my wife calls me up in the middle of the day, saying that I need to find Divine Reserve. I get all fired up, call up some Specs and HEB. Specs had run out within an hour, and the Wine/Beer guy at HEB was not answering the phone. I had a couple errands, and around 3:30, I went to a neat little bar (that used to be a brewpub) that had Divine Reserve #6 (a 5 Star beer). They don't have it. I order a Pyramid Apricot Ale, and quickly derate it from a 4 star to a 3 star, as the drinkability was pretty bad. The gent at the bar said that they didn't make hardly any kegs of DR7, and I won't find it on draft anywhere. I could find DR6 at a couple local pubs months after it had come out (sad). I chat up the guys about beer, my homebrew, and about Obama, and move on home.

I have HEB's number in my phone (the one about 10 miles north of where I was). I call and get the Wine/Beer guy as I am driving home. He says he has DR7 for sale, I tell him I'm on the way and hang up. You want to talk about DRIVING. I had 1o miles of city driving to the upper northwest Houston metro area, and cops were EVERYWHERE. I'm going 55-60 in a 45 zone. I am yelling at people in front of me, "GET OUT THE WAY B!TCH". Visions of tasers dance in my head, but I found my Drowning Pool CD to fire me up and let it ride.

I finally make it HEB, which seemed to take 5 hours. I walk with purpose through the parking lot, breeze past the cheese and bread areas, and make it to Wine/Beer. Plenty of good stuff, but the St Arnolds section had no DR7. The wine/beer guy is not there, and I find someone who looks like a manager. We both look around, and there is nothing there. He says he'll get with the manufacturer tomorrow to get the beer there. I thank him, but apparently he is not aware of the power of St Arnolds Divine Reserve. It is an underground Holiday in Houston, TX when a DR comes out. Normally it sells out within an hour. People are a stone's throw away from performing sexual favors for a 6 pack.

One last sweep through the wine section, and I see it, 4 SIX PACKS OF DIVINE RESERVE #7. Oh hell yeah. No fancy display, no anything. Just four six packs sitting next to a couple bottles of Pinot. I start to pick up 3 of the 6 packs. I figure that there is bound to be some poor sap out there in the same boat I am, and he could be on the way to find a 6 pack. I consider that a community service. I should get a tax break. As I pick up the three 6 packs, an older sistah asks me, "are you old enough to buying that beer". WOMAN, I AIN'T TRYING TO HEAR THAT! I didn't say that, but I thought it. She quickly said she was joking, and I smiled, and made a B-line for the register.

Finally, I OWN a Divine Reserve beer. A beer that (without some pictures of the brewer in a hot tub with the governor's wife while snorting an eightball of coke off her bosom) St. Arn will never brew again. The DR #6 was one of the best beer I'd ever had. And now, St. Arn has delivered once again...

Saint Arnold's Divine Reserve #7
A Weizenbock. The only time I had one of those was in Austin, and it was not up to snuff. Just plain boring. St Arn did a homebrew competition in Weizenbocks, and let the winner brew one batch of the stuff and sell it. Cost me 15 bucks a 6 pack. They could have charged 30.

Pours thick, dark brown color, very cloudy in a weizen glass. Good brown head on it that is very strong. It smells of strong roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee grounds. I think there was some element of wheat beer smells (banana, estery), but it is simply overpowered by the bock smells. Taste, oh yeah, strong malt, very thick, with a slight hop on the aftertaste. VERY VERY drinkable, low carbonation, tailor made for guys like me. Excellent mouthfeel, which comes from the wheat, but not very bready. It just fills up your mouth completely and very smooth (nullus). Definetly not a session beer, though there are no traces of alcohol. To further characterize that malt, I would say it is almost maple syrupy, maybe a little fruity. But this beer as excellent balance. This is a beer that I think helps define why we do what we do. I am sitting here watching this boring debate, and all of an hour after drinking it down, I am craving it big time. But smartly I only chilled 2 of them (one for the wife). We will cellar some of it, and break it out on special occasions. 5 Stars, all day long.


Anonymous said...

I love it when a story has a happy ending!

Have you had the Schneiderweisse Aventinus? It's a wheat doppelbock, and it is very nice. 8.2% abv, but the drinkability is amazing, I think. As it warms up, it becomes almost like a different beer.

I have two bottles of that chilling right now.

Click through to the aventinus link.



The American Don said...

Thanks Geoff. I will be trying to find that one forthwith. I think I've seen Schneider out this way.