Thursday, March 01, 2007

Saint Arnold Wee Heavy

Houston's Saint Arnold Brewery is coming out with a limited-edition Wee Heavy over the next few days, so keep your eyes peeled for it. I sure hope they're bringing some to Austin. The details from their website:

Reserve No. 4: Wee Heavy
Cases Made: 823
Date Brewed: December 20, 2006
Date Bottled: February 20, 2007
Original Gravity: 1.0835
Final Gravity: 1.021
Alcohol: 9.5% ABV

This is a Wee Heavy that one of our brewers has been working on for a couple of years and the final results are well worth the wait.

The color is deep ruby on its way to black with bright clarity (especially considering it is unfiltered) and a thick, tan head. It has a nose of Irish coffee with hints of peat. The body is sweet and creamy — not thin, not heavy. Almost refreshing, if a beer this big can be described as such.

Caramel malt, smoke, coffee and orange come in and out of focus several times as the beer moves across the palate, then it finishes with a light spiciness. We again used our St. Arnold yeast which added a nice layer of complexity to this already multifaceted beer. Enjoy at 45°F or warmer.

EDIT: Got some! As one of the comments says, if you go to Grape Vine you have to ask for it, and they will only sell you two six-packs at a time to avoid hoarding. It's called Divine Reserve No. 4, actually, and oh my it really is divine. Among heavy-alcohol, heavy-flavor beers I'd rank this right up there with Sierra Nevada Bigfoot. And they balance it just right — too often, "big beers" such as this just get overwhelmed by the alcohol and it drowns out the other flavors. Not this one. The flavor notes they mention above are correct, and I also get images of strong, ripe fruit as well. My wife just happened to serve some delicious whole grain bread (which she picked up at GVM while she was getting me the beer) and gouda cheese, which complemented the beer very nicely. Between this and the sixer of Sierra Nevada I grabbed last night, I'll be well-fortified against this cold front that is supposed to come tonight.


Chris said...

Grape Vine Market has it, but you have to ask.

725 said...

from a recent St.A email:

We have been asked why we haven't made more. Here's the story:
We didn't realize how popular this series would be, and 2 years ago when ordering the packaging, we only ordered a certain amount of neck labels for each of the first four batches. On batches 1-3, we were limited as we learned how to brew such big beers in our brewhouse. With batch 4, we were limited by neck labels. We ordered twice as many labels for batches 5-8, so future batches will be larger. We appreciate your patience as you look for this beer.

Lee said...

Dammit, I did ask for at Grape Vine last night and the clerk told me they didn't have it! Grrr.