Saint Arnold Divine Reserve No. 6 is out. Good luck finding it. I reserved a couple of six-packs through Grapevine Market, and apparently I'm not the only one – they said they ordered 10 cases, and all were reserved before they arrived. Other people are complaining that they can't find it. (Brock, you really need to start producing bigger batches of DR.)
No. 6 is a very solid barleywine that I thoroughly enjoyed last night, although it didn't quite move me to outright raving. But tonight, I'm having an absolute revelation:Last September, I reviewed Divine Reserve No. 5 as "not the best imperial stout I've ever had … but it's still damn fine." But I stashed away a sixer of it in my closet and have been letting it age for nine months, and I opened one tonight, and am now experiencing, for the first time, the joy of aged beers. I'd heard aging high-alcohol beers produced interesting results, and they were right. The taste of this stout has both mellowed and intensified, if that makes any sense. The alcohol comes out really strongly – you can smell before it ever gets to your lips – and then once you sip it, and the roasted and chocolate malts come out so beautifully. I'm in absolute heaven. Appropriately enough.
I'm going to open up another No. 5 a few months from when it starts getting colder. And I've already set aside a sixer of No. 6 to age.
Is it too early to say I can't wait for Christmas?
UPDATE: Okay, I just tried another bottle of the No. 6, and maybe it's just because I already had some other beer in me, but it tasted fantastic today.