Beer Review 0149: Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout

Continuing on with the Yeti beers from Great Divide, which brews out of Denver, Colorado, we have the Espresso Oak Aged version up for review today. A few weeks ago, I reviewed the standard Yeti (91 points) and the Oak Aged Yeti (94 points).

This Espresso Oak Aged version is a new addition to the Yeti line, just released as a seasonal bomber bottle this past January. You can find it available until March, and Great Divide says this is a Yeti you can have with your breakfast. While oak aging added nice character to the regular Yeti, particularly a vanilla note, this beer is brewed with coffee added to create an even more complex profile. The brew comes in at 9.5% ABV (alcohol by volume) and it proudly states BOHEMIAN and BLACK on the label.

So, does the Yeti make a suitable breakfast date?

The pour produced a dark black, viscous beer topped with an average size, creamy, and khaki head. The lacing coated the glass right from the initial diminish of the head, which took quite a while, and continued down the glass as I sipped. This is just an awesome looking beer, almost intimidating (imagine that), as all the Yeti versions have been so far.

On the nose, the coffee is definitely turned up as compared to other Yeti. There’s also a nice note of dark chocolate, and the drink touches on offering some dark fruits, but doesn’t quite get there enough to identify something. There’s also a strong vanilla, thanks to the oak chips; and the hops are there with some pine in the very background. But the coffee is the dominating force here — honestly, this smells like a black cup of coffee with some bite. And I’m not talking about alcohol bite, even though at 9.5% we know it’s here (but undetectable to the nose).

To the taste, where there’s coffee — everywhere, everywhere, everywhere. Big time coffee, delivered in a thick and coating mouthfeel that’s just right, not sticky sweet. It’s all bright, fresh roasted, slightly acidic coffee until the finish opens up and delivers a one-two punch of a nice dark chocolate and vanilla. The oak aspect, which was largely absent on the regular Oak Aged version (save for the vanilla) was not to be found here, either. The lingering taste is one of bitter black coffee, which slightly dries the mouth out. This is an easy drinking and very smooth beer, and there is a little bit of an alcohol warm after the sip.

I couldn’t pick whether I liked the Oak Aged or Espresso Oak Aged better, so I’ve rated them the same. If you like more of a coffee flavor in your stout, then get the Espresso. If you like more of the vanilla from the oak, get the Oak Aged. Or just do yourself a solid and pick up both bottles, because they’re that damn good.

Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout, 94 points. Price: $9.99 US for one 22 oz. bomber size bottle.

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