Beer Review 0127: Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout

Great Divide Brewing produces beer out of Denver, Colorado, and has been doing so since 1994. Founded by Brian Dunn, then just a homebrewer, the company began in an abandoned dairy processing plant.

Celebrating 18 successful years in 2012, this beer company became an enormous success after winning medal after medal in various beer festivals across the United States.

Today’s beer up for review is Great Divide’s Yeti Imperial Stout, a big beer clocking in at 9.5% ABV (alcohol by volume) and 75 IBU (International Bitterness Units). The company suggests this beer will impart big flavors of roasted malt, caramel and toffee. The bottle proudly states “UNTAMED and IMPOSING.”

It should be noted that there are a series of Yeti beers; this beer is the regular version. There are also three different oak aged Yeti varieties, and a Belgian-style. Yes, this website will be reviewing all five Yeti beers. (!)

Pouring this big and bad Imperial Stout from the bomber bottle produced a small but very nice head, dark khaki brown in color, and creamy like a cloud. This beer is pitch black, much like spent motor oil, so determining if there are particles or sediment present is impossible. The lacing was very nice, leaving thick sheets down the glass, something I know I love seeing. An intimidating looking stout? Could be…but it looked delightful to me.

The nose on the Yeti proved subdued — I did get the big malt presence in the form of some chocolate and coffee, general toasted notes, a hint of smoke and caramel. There was a suggestion of hops with an underlying pine whiff, but overall I found the aromas of this beer to be a bit disappointing; as it warmed, I found I really had to stick my nose in the glass to pick apart the scents.

On the taste, this is a heavenly beer. There’s a ton of sweet roasted malt up front, which takes its time transitioning into some wonderful caramel, dark chocolate, and a hint of coffee. Mouthfeel was thick; viscous and creamy, coating the cheeks with creamy goodness and leaving the lips sticky. The finish is bittersweet as the chocolate turns into black coffee, accentuated by a touch of smoke. There is absolutely no alcohol bite to this beer, nor is there a warming effect, but the 9.5% is there and you do feel it after a glass. And as things warmed up, these flavors just got more and more pronounced. Definitely allow the Yeti twenty to thirty minutes to warm instead of drinking straight out of the fridge.

We’ve got a great beer here. The flavors presented are wonderfully complex and just plain good. I loved the mouthfeel, but didn’t so much love the aroma. Tasty stuff!

This has me primed to try the other four Yeti beers, which might just be exemplary.

Great Divide Yeti Imperial Stout, 91 points. Price: $7.49 US for one 22 oz. bomber size bottle.

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