Sunday, October 19, 2008

Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout review

Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial StoutThis was one of the beers I had heard so much about and have been looking for a while now. Great Divide Brewing Company of Denver Colorado has been making their regular Yeti Imperial Stout for a while now and has been getting rave reviews on it. During my last big beer run at the end of August, I spied several bottles of Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout in the cooler. I grabbed two 22-oz bottles of this and a 4-pack of the regular Yeti. My goal was to compare the two brews side by side to see what oak chips will do for this dark brew.

My plan to evaluate these brews side by side got sidetracked a bit. I had sampled a regular Yeti back in early September but failed to take notes during that tasting. Then I gave away 1 bottle of Yeti to a friend. My tasting of the oaked Yeti happened about 2 weeks ago just before the Great American Beer Festival. At least this time around I took some formal notes, but forgot to open up a regular Yeti at the same time. So I'm going to have to rely on memory to compare the two beers side by side.

Appearance: As you can see from the picture of the Oaked Yeti at pouring time, this beer poured black as molasses and with a huge, and I mean HUGE, 4 finger tall tan head. The lacing from this beer was superior as it left a nice trace all along the glass as the foam melted away over the course of the next several minutes.

Aroma: Immediately upon pouring, I was met with rich aromas of chocolate, coffee, toffee and sweet dark malts with a whiff of alcohol. You could tell there was something more to this aroma and I gathered this was the overtones of the toasted oak chips that were fermented with this beer. The chips were meant to give this beer a vanilla and oak character. It was definitely there but subtle.

I could also pick out a faint hop aroma mixing with the 9.5% ABV alcohol. This beer was rich with aromas! What's sad about this beer review is that I had nobody to share it with. I knew that this strong beer in a 22-oz bomber was going to be a lot for me to drink but I was determined to be up for the challenge. I really wish Great Divide would sell this stuff in 12-oz bottle 4-packs similar to their un-oaked brother Yeti.

2011 version of Oak Aged YetiTaste: Oh ya! I could pick up on the oak right away. It gave the brew a "wood-like" overtone without being over done. This beer was thick and rich with tastes of dark malt and was very creamy. It started warming me up as soon as I started drinking it. This brew was a lot smoother than other imperial stouts I've had and this may be due to the time that this beer has already aged. The oak took a little of the alcohol bite away I believe which was a nice effect.

I loved the great roasted taste of this brew. It's all there. This brew just begged to be paired with ice cream! I just knew that this beer was going to sneak up on me later. I rushed to the kitchen and found some Cookies N Cream ice cream in the freezer and put some in a small glass. Then I rushed back to my beer and poured some of this brew over the top of the ice cream. Heavenly! This beer makes a fantastic beer float! You gotta try it. Back in 2008, I bought this for $6.99 and it was worth the money.

The hops in this beer, while subtle, blended well with the rich malts. The beer finishes bitter but with a nice roastiness. I'm glad I bought 2 of these bottles as it is hard to find here in Greeley Colorado. Great Divide Yetis are definitely worth going out of your way to get. I'd say this beer beat out North Coast's Old Rasputin and Oskar Blues Ten Fidy and it's brother, regular Yeti. This beer gets the huge Thumbs Up from me and one of my highest recommendations. Oak Aged Yeti will not disappoint you.

Related articles:
- North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
- Oskar Blues Ten Fidy
- Stone Imperial Russian Stout
- Great Divide Hades Ale review.
- Great Divide St. Bridgets Porter review.
- Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout review.

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