Beer Review 0196: Great Divide Belgian Style Yeti Imperial Stout

It took me a while, but here I am completing the Yeti Imperial Stout series of beer.

If you’ve missed my previous reviews, here they are:

Yeti Imperial Stout, 91 points
Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout, 94 points
Espresso Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout, 94 points
Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout, 96 points

Concluding the Yeti experience is the Belgian Style Yeti, brewed by Great Divide Brewing Co. out of Denver, Colorado. This version of the Yeti is brewed with a Belgian yeast strain, which is intended to add flavors of dark fruit and spice. The bottle says this beer is ICONOCLASTIC and MYSTERIOUS, and it is available for purchase in the summer months.

Belgian Style Yeti pours very similar to the other Yeti beers, with a small but lasting head, creamy in texture, and dark khaki in color. The beer was thick and muddy, jet black in color and opaque. I couldn’t tell you about any sediment present as this is so dark. The lacing was excellent, leaving thin but sticky dark tan sheets behind after each sip. Really, a perfect looking Imperial Stout.

The aromatics were again like most of the other Yeti offerings; there’s dark chocolate and some black coffee up front, coupled with a sweetness that falls on caramel and the whole malt bomb is somewhat balanced by a light pine hop. As for the Belgian qualities of this beer, like, say…the yeast? This beer was a touch earthy, but nowhere near “Belgian Style” to my nose…

On the taste, there’s dark fruits like prune and raisin up front along with a touch of spice, which has to be from the Belgian yeast. You might remember the Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti having a touch of cayenne pepper — there’s no heat to this beer, just a potpourri-like spice. Then the beer transitions into more of the Yeti experience: layers of dark chocolate, caramel, and the finish rides a bittersweet note of chocolate and black coffee. The mouthfeel was creamy and thick, with average carbonation.

Belgian? Not sure what exactly is Belgian here, other than the hint of spice and cool label on the bottle. Honestly, this is another good Yeti from Great Divide, and it is an above average Imperial Stout, but this is my least favorite Yeti and I would return to any of the other four before I would this one.

Perhaps the Belgian qualities of this beer disappear with some age? I drank this beer about a year after the bottling date, and while all the Yeti beers are prime candidates for aging, perhaps the Belgian yeast fades over time, like hop flavors. All the other Yeti stouts I reviewed relatively fresh.

That being said, this one still scores very good to excellent, so it’s worth a shot…

Great Divide Belgian Style Yeti Imperial Stout, 88 points. Price: $10.99 US for one 22 oz. bomber size bottle.


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