Friday, January 23, 2009

Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout review

Great Divide Yeti Imperial StoutOne night while going through my beer cellar, I spotted a left over bottle of Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout. Late last summer when I stocked up during the big beer run I grabbed both the Yeti Imperial Stout and the Oak Aged Yeti. I had previously reviewed the oaked version, but forgot to review this one. I'm glad I found an extra one laying around. The bonus for me is that it had aged an extra 5 months.

Appearance: Great Divide Yeti poured as black as the night I opened it on and was rather thick. This beer left a finger high brown head at a 56 degree temperature. I deliberately kept this beer at basement temperature as I like my stouts a bit warmed.

Aroma: Being a big 9.5% ABV brew and a hefty 75 IBUs, I expected this to have a bit of an alcohol bite to it in both the aroma and the taste. But to my surprise and delight, the brew had mellowed a bit since I first tried it in September. Yeti had a nice roasty malt aroma and just a trace of hop. Quite a change in 5 months, but how would it taste?

Taste: The first sip left little doubt - wow! This beer had improved noticeably. The big brew had mellowed over time, one of the benefits of aging. The Yeti had a rich coffee, chocolate and caramel flavor. Sipping the beer gave a nice warming sensation. It had a subtle dry finish.

It wasn't until late in the sampling that I began to notice the alcohol. The ABV's snuck up on me. One 12oz bottle was plenty for a session. I suggest if you try this brew that you pour just a half a glass first and swirl it around a bit. A half a glass allows a bit more movement in the glass and can help bring out the full aroma. The aroma and flavor is best when it warms a bit.

Great Divide Yeti 2009 labelGreat Divide has made me a fan of the Yeti. Both the oaked version and the regular offering are similar yet different in many ways. Try both. I give them both a big Thumbs Up.

Update: During the summer of '09, Great Divide went through a re-imaging of it's beer label brand. Gone is the blue mountain scene and in comes the earth-tone yeti-walking classic label look. Here's another pic of the updated brew during a late fall session in December 2009.

As you can see, this time, Yeti poured with a HUGE multi-finger tall head. Temperature and conditions often vary the quality of the head on the beer. The mid-year batch of Yeti was just as tasty as it was last year.

Related articles:
- Great Divide Hades Ale review.
- Great Divide St. Bridget's Porter review.
- Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout review.
- Great Divide Hoss Rye Lager review.

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