That, my friends, is Saint Arnold’s Divine Reserve No. 9, an Imperial Pumpkin Stout. What is an Imperial Pumpkin Stout, you might ask? I’ll let Saint A’s explain the beer for you:
Important: let this beer warm to at least 50° before enjoying. This beer is black with some ruby highlights. The nose is full of pumpkin pie spices and some alcohol. There are notes of nutmeg, caraway and vanilla. The taste starts with chocolate malt with a hint of spice and rolls into a warm spicy alcohol taste which has the effect of creating the balance that usually comes from the hop bitter. There is some hop bitter on the finish, but not much. Overall, this beer finishes relatively dry for such a big beer. As it warms, the spices move forward in the taste and the chocolate moves to the finish. The pumpkin provides a pleasant undertone and a nice mouthfeel. The spices will probably fade some over time; they mellowed considerably while still in the fermenter.
There are only 1,500 6-packs, 23 half-barrels, and 20 1/6 barrels of this brew, and it’s a hot commodity in the Houston area right now. Several stores have already sold out, and others will be inundated with Saint Arnold fans in the next few days as the last couple of stores receive their shipment. This has to be the fastest a $15 6-pack of beer has ever sold.
Saint A’s has the hashtag of #DR9 already set up on twitter for those trying to find locations that still have it, and the tag has been surprisingly busy today. I’ll be doing my initial tasting a bit later tonight. I’ve got a differential equations exam tomorrow, and the 11% alcohol by volume may not be the best study catalyst.